Alcohol in moderation is one of the few things precisely defined. Moderation is one of those words with some ambiguity to it. It means something different depending on the subject, person and pre-existing habits.
However, when it comes to alcohol, the Dietary Guideline is specific: “if alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation – up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.” This is also the guideline the American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association follow. But before you are either horrified by this recommendation, or preparing your own drink right now, there are important aspects of this over-arching guideline that are often overlooked.
IF alcohol is consumed: Not everyone chooses to consume alcohol and that is fine. People may wonder why this is even part of any guidelines. Alcohol is legal and people do choose to consume it, so there is a guideline for it. If you don’t consume alcohol, there is no need to start. If you enjoy alcohol a few times are year or a few times a month, no need to up your intake.
It should be consumed in moderation: Here is where things get more defined in what is meant by moderation. Alcohol in moderation is defined as up to one drink for women and two drinks for men per day. “Up to” means you can have less, but it is not good to have more.