|Cheers to that!||Dec. 17, 2011|
|Written by: Dr. W. Gifford-Jones, QMI Agency|
|Need to cut back on calories? Here's a surprising recommendation|
How many readers can answer this question? What kills more North Americans than anything else? I’d bet many would answer heart disease or cancer. Authorities claim heart disease is the number one killer. But I’m convinced that calories are the main culprit killing millions of overweight North Americans. Today, let’s see if the following clues help you name the latest low-carb product to combat the high-calorie diet. The answer may surprise you.
The first clue: This product contains no hidden sugar, a huge benefit for our sweet-loving society. Today, it’s easy to consume sugar without knowing it. For instance, how many are aware that a 10-ounce cola drink contains eight teaspoons of sugar, or realize the amount of sugar in packaged foods?
Here’s another clue and benefit: This product contains only 25 milligrams (mg) of salt, a major advantage in the battle against hypertension, another big killer. Compare this amount to the 900 mg in a can of soup, 1,100 mg in a quarter-pound hamburger with cheese, 1,420 mg in chicken pot pie and 3,270 mg in a Reuben sandwich. In addition, most packaged foods are loaded with salt. Our bodies need only 1,500 mg of sodium daily, but most people consume 4,000 mg.
As well, there are important minerals in this product such as magnesium, which helps to regulate the normal beat of the heart. And potassium, which along with magnesium helps to fight high blood pressure by relaxing arteries. Its calcium content also keeps bones strong.
In case you lack vitamins, the product contains a number of essential vitamins such as folic acid, niacin and vitamins B2, B3 and B6.
Another clue: This product does not contain fat, cholesterol or triglycerides and is 93% water. Over the centuries contaminated water killed more people than anything else. This product is 100% free of pollution.
So what is it? It’s a bottle of low-calorie beer. In fact one brand contains only 60 calories.
This column is not intended to suggest that drinking low-calorie beer is the ideal way to lose weight. Nor should non-drinkers start consuming alcohol. The obvious and well-tested way is to decrease the number of daily calories along with regular exercise. But for those who already enjoy drinking beer, and who do so moderately, this product contains fewer calories, a big step towards better health.
The longer I practice medicine the more I’m convinced that, taken in moderation, alcohol is one of the best therapies ever created. If used temperately, it is not associated with the many complications associated with prescription drugs. Moreover, 20 world studies show that those who use alcohol moderately live longer than teetotallers and those who abuse alcohol. There are scientific reasons for this.
Alcohol increases the good cholesterol and removes bad cholesterol from the blood. It also helps to lubricate blood circulation, decreasing the risk of coronary attack. And never forget the relaxing effects of alcohol.
The consumption of fewer calories, whether by low-calorie beer or with other low-calorie products, will help to decrease the devastating complications associated with obesity, our number one killer in my book.
Aristotle was right. Generations ago he praised the virtues of moderation. Today, the best way to promote health and save our health care system is for people to act moderately when drinking and eating. As Pogo remarked, “We have identified the enemy and the enemy is us!”
I always enjoy passing along good news about the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Particularly during this “ho ho ho” season when one of the pleasures is sitting with family and friends enjoying whatever drink is preferred.
My best wishes for a safe, healthy and temperate holiday.
|MORE COLUMNS BY DR. W. GIFFORD-JONES, QMI AGENCY|