The health benefits of various things

On the heels of yesterday’s post about the health benefits of alcohol, today I read about the five things you should do to have the best chances of a long life. Alcohol is on this list, too. For some reason they still can’t bring themselves to say “zero.”

Here’s the list:

1. Avoid smoking. Low risk is defined as never smoking.

2. Maintain a healthy weight. Low risk is defined as a Body Mass Index in the range of 18.5 to 24.9. BMI is a ratio of weight to height that, though imperfect, offers a quick and easy assessment of weight status.

3. Exercise regularly. Low risk is defined as moderate- or ­vigorous-intensity exercise for 30 or more minutes a day.

4. Consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Low risk is defined as one-half to one drink per day for women and one-half to two drinks per day for men.

5. Maintain an overall healthy diet. Low risk is defined as a diet with high intakes of vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, polyunsaturated fatty acids and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, and low intakes of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages, trans fat and sodium.

They seem to be equating “low risk” with “best.” Low risk of damaging your longevity. We’ve got all the good stuff like exercise and diet and smoking. But for alcohol, low risk isn’t nothing to some small number — it’s just small numbers. The “best” scenario starts with drinking. WTF?

This article grabbed my attention initially because of the little voice I heard when I read “don’t smoke.” Ah yes. Little reverberations of one of my attempted rationales of the old days. You don’t smoke, so you can drink. You can use up some of those damage-your-health tickets — that they allot you at birth — on alcohol cuz you have a lot left.

Crazy stuff this addicted brain of mine comes up with.

Happy Sunday!

Adrian

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