Loving the BITE: St Patrick’s Day Special

Next, most all alcohol (the alcohol itself, not the entire sugar-loaded drink for any margarita fans) promotes increases in healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and decreased risk of stroke and heart disease.  Why is HDL good for us?  It is actually sent out by the liver to scavenge “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) before it can be oxidized and enter our artery walls.  Between an increase in HDL and antioxidants, dark beer fights plague build-up in arteries.  Of note, the alcohol content is greatly reduced when cooked in a recipe such as our Recipe of the Week, so go ahead and have a few gulps from the bottle while you make it!

It can also oppose high insulin levels in the body.  Remember, insulin production, which is usually caused by increases in blood sugar, promotes harmful fat accumulation and insulin resistance.  Moderate alcohol intake reduces insulin resistance (the more insulin resistance, the more insulin pumped out into the blood stream, the more fat accumulation and harm).  And, although it contains some carbs, fermented carbs are metabolized differently and a don’t usually cause high blood sugars.

On the other hand, as the Irish say, there are two sides to every story and at least twelve versions of every song.

There are good reasons to 1) not become “dependant” on alcohol (even dependency on just 1-2 drinks after work to unwind) and to 2) not binge.

First, avoid the binge to avoid the bulge: Although moderate alcohol intake has positive effects, binge drinking swings the pendulum far too far the other way.  With binge drinking, high levels of calories are consumed through alcohol and food since alcohol often leads to overeating.  Then, ghrelin levels are increased, which stimulates hunger, and fat breakdown is decreased, likely because the liver is dealing with alcohol overload.  Lastly, alcohol is associated with sleep disturbances, which further negatively impact metabolism hormones.  If the binge is a big one, the alcohol impact on the liver can hinder it from processing and burning fat for even up to 3 days, so you can’t just burn off  the extra bulge in the days that follow.  Binge drinking is a quadruple whammy to your metabolism, so keep it moderate!

And lastly, chronic drinking can cause our bodies to run on elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.  Unfortunately, elevated cortisol levels encourage insulin resistance and fat accumulation.  What’s more, chronic drinking can lead to a chronically increased blood pressure level.  Bummer.

All in all, beer and other non-sugary alcohol, in moderate amounts a few times per week, is great…even recommended for most people by this dietitian.

May the road rise up to meet you (every ride!), and may your glass be ever full (a few times per week).

Fuel the Ride. Nourish the Body.

Page 2 of 2 | Previous page

  • http://daretobecome.com/ DareToBecome

    I salute you with a Corona for this one!