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Mr. Bad Food

by John McGran, Food columnist
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Raise your glass and toast your health. This St. Patty’s Day, you can enjoy your favorite alcoholic beverages and still stick with your diet. All it takes is a little restraint and a round of insight served up by Diet.com.

Studies show that if you're happy with your weight or you're eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise it's likely that you can drink moderately without gaining weight. It’s a balancing act " calories in versus calories burned.

So before you head to the O’Reilly’s Pub for a mug or five of green beer and a bowl of corned beef and cabbage, come up with a workable game plan that won’t have you awakening the next morning green around the gills and nursing a guilty conscience.

Alcohol is very sneaky. Your willpower and resolve drain the more you drink. Too many “one more round, bartender” declarations can result in a late-night pig out. One night of bingeing in a year of living healthfully won’t derail your diet. A problem arises when you try to make drinking a regular part of your diet.

The Food and Drug Administration’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans include a recommendation for moderate alcohol -- one to two daily drinks for men, and one for women. But registered dietitian Susan Burke says you can undo all your good intentions because all alcohol is not created equal.

“Just like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, there are good drinks and then there are very, very bad drinks,” she says. “If you're drinking for health, alcohol can lower your risk for stroke and heart disease. If you're drinking with dinner, alcohol makes meals more enjoyable. But if you're drinking to change your mood, perhaps overdoing it, then all bets are off.”

You can keep the scale balanced in your favor by cutting back on other calories consumed that day or by burning more calories through an extra-intense exercise routine.

If you choose to drink to honor the snake-chasing ...    Continue

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