We’re often told that enjoying a glass of wine is a heart-healthy habit. But then we hear about research that drinking increases your risk of high blood pressure and cancer. Likewise, while some studies show that moderate drinking can actually improve bone density, others say that alcohol consumption can make osteoporotic fractures more likely. With so much seemingly conflicting information, it’s easy to forget all that and just reach for a refill. So why not?

Alcohol is our most commonly-used recreational drug, and I think it pays to think of it like any drug – something to be treated with respect. Unlike other drugs though, alcohol also packs an energy punch. I’ve found what helps me to keep the alcohol intake moderate is knowing that those three glasses of wine are equivalent in kilojoules to 6 1/2 slices of white bread; pretty compelling when you’re contemplating glass number four. It is also useful knowing what happens in my body when I drink.

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