Healthy Dining Finder - Ask the Dietitians - Should I Feel Guilty for Having a Drink When Eating Out?
 



Ask the Dietitians
Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

Should I Feel Guilty for Having a Drink When Eating Out?


When paired with a balanced meal of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein, the occasional drink can fit into a healthful lifestyle. 
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Q: Should I Feel Guilty for Having a Drink When Eating Out?

First, we recommend giving up the guilt over your food and drink choices. A healthy lifestyle is about the big picture, a picture rich in nutritious, high-quality foods and accented with some indulgence like an occasional drink with dinner. Second, moderation is key!

Whether your drink of choice is a frosty pint of beer, a velvety glass of wine, a classic cocktail or something in between, alcohol can be a part of a healthy lifestyle when enjoyed in moderation. In fact, more and more studies have concluded that there may even be some health benefits to drinking… in moderation.

According to current recommendations, moderate drinking is defined as up to 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men, in most cases*.

Most experts agree that there are two sides to alcohol. While drinking in excess has been tied to a wide variety of health risks, moderate drinking has been linked to:
  • A healthier heart and circulatory system
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Improved cognitive function
This doesn’t mean you should take up drinking for your health! Alcohol has also been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. It can also be a high calorie addition to your diet.

If you do choose to have a drink with dinner on occasion, give up the guilt and enjoy it. Be sure to pair your drink with a healthful meal centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, many of which have been shown to offer a wealth of health benefits including lowering the risk of certain types of cancer!

*Work with your doctor and dietitian for personalized recommendations.

Next time you head out to enjoy a restaurant meal, with or without a drink, opt for a dietitian-recommended menu choice like these featured on HealthyDiningFinder.com:
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Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

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