Balance your beer-drinking

Tips for practicing moderate consumption of suds

Drinking beer—or any alcoholic beverage, for that matter—is a double-edged sword in terms of the effects on health. Moderate consumption has some benefits, like reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and perhaps even dementia, according to Berkeley Wellness, a collaboration of UC Berkeley School of Public Health and a team of national writers. Of course, overdrinking is tied to alcoholism, heart and liver disease, hypertension, certain cancers and accidental death. Here are a few ways to help strike a good balance:

Know the standard: A “drink” typically means 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor.

Follow your pattern: Episodic, heavy drinking is always dangerous. The health benefits linked to alcohol apply only to regularly enjoying a small amount—one drink a day for women, and two for men.

Drink with meals: A full stomach slows the body’s absorption of alcohol, and people who drink at meals are more likely to do so moderately.