Moderate Alcohol Consumption Can Actually Be Good For You, New Dietary Guidelines Suggest

Do you feel guilty about your penchant for a glass of wine (or two) at dinner? A little bit nervous about your burgeoning craft beer collection affecting your health? Now you have an excuse to stop worrying so much. The new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans just came out, and amongst other bits of dietary advice, it emphasizes that those who drink alcohol should do so (as always) in moderation, but admits that light to moderate alcohol consumption can be part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle.

The guidelines specifically state that alcohol, if consumed in moderation, "can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns."

Moderation, according to the Dietary Guidelines created by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with the USDA every year, means one drink per day for women and two drinks for men. The guidelines serve as the official legal nutritional advice for Americans each year.

"In keeping with the longstanding dietary science, the Guidelines reaffirm that a standard drink of beer, wine and distilled spirits each contains the same amount of alcohol," said Dr. Sam Zakhari, distilled spirits council senior vice president of science, and former division director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.