If you’re a Fezziwig, your favorite time of year is here: time for good food, good cheer, and of course good booze.
You don’t have to be a character out of a Dickens story to enjoy that last one.
Heck, even if you’re a little antisocial, a glass or two of your favorite drink can turn a dreaded holiday gathering into an evening you can actually enjoy!
But booze is more than just a social lubricant.
It can also help grease your internal pipes so your arteries keep open and clear – protecting you from heart attack and stroke.
Now, the latest research shows just one of the reasons why moderate drinkers are healthier than sad-sack teetotalers: A little alcohol can help keep your cholesterol levels where they need to be, especially your levels of the all-important HDL, or “good” cholesterol.
I never liked that nickname because this whole “good” and “bad” business is a myth cooked up by mainstream hacks to sell drugs.
Fact is, ALL cholesterol is good – even the LDL they like to call “bad.”
This stuff doesn’t cause blockages, as your doc claims. Normally, it whizzes through your arteries like an express train, dropping off critical fat-soluble nutrients wherever they’re needed.
It only runs into problems when your inflammation levels rise, which traps LDL and causes it to stick to the artery walls, gumming up the works and setting the stage for a blockage.
This is where HDL comes in, because it can fight inflammation and pull LDL out of your bloodstream at the same time – stopping those blockages before they start.
The only problem? Just when you need it most – as you get older and your inflammation levels rise – your HDL levels plunge faster than the November temperatures.
Now, the new study shows why you don’t have to worry about any of that: A healthy boozing habit slows the drop in HDL levels, so as you get older, you have less of a risk of a nasty blockage.
The study finds the biggest benefit goes to moderate drinkers of beer, although hard liquor did do the trick – just not quite as well. And while, there weren’t enough wine drinkers in the study to draw any real conclusions, we already know how good wine is.
So tonight – and EVERY night – feel free to pour yourself a drink or two if you’re healthy enough to handle it.
It won’t just protect your heart. Studies show boozers have a lower risk of nearly every major chronic disease, including dementia.
More importantly, this time of year when you’re forced to sit through awkward family gatherings, it can do something else. It can even make your brother-in-law tolerable for an evening.
Now that’s a holiday miracle!