Why You Should Quit AlcoholMay 01, 2023
Alcohol (also referred to as ethanol) is a toxin. Even in small amounts, consuming alcohol can create problems—increases your risk of cancer, stroke, and heart attack. Ethanol will also keep you from sleeping and increases your weight due to its high calories and the way it can give you the munchies.
Alcohol increases the risk of cancer and heart disease
Regular consumption of alcohol—even seemingly small amounts like one glass a day—has been linked to increased risk of breast, mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, and colon cancers. This is because your body breaks down alcohol into a chemical called acetaldehyde that damages your DNA. When DNA is damaged, a cell can begin growing out of control and create a cancer tumor. Drinking can also raise your blood pressure, and put you at greater risk of a stroke or heart attack. The World Health Organization has stated that “no level of alcohol consumption is safe for our health.”
It can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep
Drinking will disrupt your sleep. A glass or two of wine initially acts as a sedative, perhaps helping you to fall asleep. Still, during the night—as alcohol is oxidized to acetaldehyde and then to acetic acid—your REM (rapid eye movement) sleep is suppressed in the first half of the night, followed by increased wakefulness in the second half of the night. REM sleep is important for learning, memory, and mood. Regular drinkers who quit often experience a noticeable improvement in the duration and quality of their sleep.
Alcohol can also promote weight gain
Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, compared to carbohydrates and protein, with 4 calories per gram. Also, they’re empty calories: no vitamins, minerals, protein, or fiber. A glass of wine can contain from 110–150 calories, depending on the size of the glass and alcohol by volume. Furthermore, alcohol promotes excessive eating and snacking, which also contributes to weight gain.
If you’re a regular drinker, consider quitting. If you find that alcohol is an addiction, seek support to help you with recovery.
Check out these healthy, non-alcoholic mocktails
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