I have decided to drink only beer as a New Year’s resolution, however one of my friends said that beer is more hazardous than whiskey.

Can anyone help me with this? What should I drink ?

  • I couldn't say for sure, but I'd guess that the main problem (primarily in the form of a carcinogen - cancer causing agent) in each drink is the alcohol itself. And so your best bet health wise would be to not drink at all, otherwise they're all about equal. Beer, however, may cause more weight gain than the others.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 13:12
  • There is no single answer according to the perspective taken.
    – Ken Graham
    Commented Jan 3, 2020 at 23:55
  • @CanadianCoder The main risk is probably from intoxication. Either alcohol poisoning or traffic accidents. I’d suggest hard alcohol presents a greater risk for that but I can’t cite evidence.
    – Eric S
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 0:21
  • True, although I'd assume the intent of the question was to ask about the effects of chronic consumption. I should add as well that alcohol as a carcinogen sounds scary, but it's really not that much of a carcinogen. People should be aware that it is one, though.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Jan 5, 2020 at 2:47
  • Ethanol is a poison, no matter how much you consume. The least hazardous to your health is the one that has the least amount of alcohol. There are some minor health benefits to drinking red wine and maybe beer with yeast. It's been proven many times that vodka gives the least hangovers. Probably the worst thing you can drink is large amounts of mixed drinks with the added sugar and calories. The more sugar, the worse it is for your health. Beer bellies are a real thing. You don't see too many real hard core alcoholics with a beer belly. Everything in moderation is the best Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


Which drink is moderately less hazardous to health: Beer, Whiskey, Rum, Vodka or Wine?

There is no one perspective that is a definite answer to this question because there are many factors that must be taken into account.

  • How much alcohol is considered moderate?
  • What type of drink contains more calories and thus makes one gain weight more quickly?
  • What types of drinks can by those who are gluten intolerant?

How to drink moderately and how much alcohol in a drink is considered to be moderate?

Most people consider drinking by consuming a drink or two socially or in private. Drinking too much in some circumstances can lead to another alcohol poisoning.

What is Moderate Alcohol Use?

Guidelines for moderate drinking have been set by the US Department of Health and Human Services and the World Health Organization.

  • The US guidelines suggest no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. A drink is defined as 12 oz of beer, 5 oz of wine, or 1.5 oz of spirits.

  • The WHO guidelines suggest no more than 2 drinks per day, and no more than 5 drinking days per week. They recommend 2 non-drinking days. Of course, you can't stockpile your drinks, and have them all at the end of the week.

A Standard Drink - The Definition of a Drink

A standard drink is 14g of pure alcohol according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. The World Health Organization defines a drink as 10g of pure alcohol.

Each milliliter of pure alcohol weighs 0.79 grams. Therefore, you can calculate the alcohol content of a drink with the following formula:

  • 1 can of beer (330 ml, 12 oz) at 5% (strength) x 0.79 (conversion factor) = 13 grams of alcohol

  • 1 glass of wine (140 ml, 5 oz) at 12% x 0.79 = 13.3 grams of alcohol

  • 1 shot of liquor (40 ml, 1.5 oz) at 40% x 0.79 = 12.6 grams of alcohol

Note that a 750ml bottle of wine contains 5 drinks. Therefore 2 drinks a day is less than half a bottle of wine a day.

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Recommended Alcohol Guidelines - Moderate (Social) Drinking Plan

Now for the question of weight gain! Which drinks contain more calories and thus can make it more readily possible to get one fatter more quickly. The amount of carbohydrates must also be taken into account.

Alcohol can either give you a beer belly or help you uncover your abs. After all, while one Archives of Internal Medicine study shows that people who put back one or two drinks a day are less likely to gain weight, research in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that men consume an extra 433 calories on days they have just a couple of drinks.

While lowered inhibitions and drink-fueled munchies have something to do with it, 61 percent of the caloric increase comes from the alcohol itself. So, if you're trying to lose weight while still enjoying the occasional drink, you'd better be wise about which drinks you choose. Here are the best and worst booze you can order.

The Best Wine

Red or white, you can expect to consume roughly 100 to 120 calories per glass. (That's assuming, however, that you're drinking a standardized 5-ounce glass. Research from Iowa State and Cornell shows that people tend to over-pour by 12 percent.)

However, there are some considerations to make when picking grapes: White wine typically contains fewer carbohydrates than does red wine, which makes a small difference in terms of calories, says Caroline Cederquist, M.D., author of The MD Factor and creator of bistroMD. Meanwhile, red wine is richer in antioxidants, and a 2014 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, red wine's ellargic acids delay the growth of fat cells while slowing the development of new ones.


“A fortified wine with higher alcohol content and infused spices and herbs, vermouth is a calorie saver if you have it by itself—as it's commonly served in Europe," says Georgie Fear, R.D., author ofLean Habits for Lifelong Weight Loss. A 1.5-ounce serving contains a mere 64 calories, and typically contains about 15 to 18 percent alcohol, she says. Plus, research out of Budapest shows that it's jam-packed with polyphenol compounds, which may promote healthy weight loss.

Still, remember that if you mix it into a Manhattan or martini, you're probably going to be consuming far more calories and sugar, Fear says.

Straight Liquor

When it comes to getting the most alcohol for the fewest calories, shots and straight booze on the rocks are the way to go. "There isn't much of a difference between 80-proof hard liquors," Cederquist says. "They all have around the same amount of calories and carbohydrates." And as calories increase along with alcohol content, the difference isn't huge. For instance, a shot of 86-proof whiskey contains 105 calories and a shot of 80-proof vodka contains 97.

However, you also need to keep in mind that the sweeter the liquor, the more calories it typically contains, she says. "If you're looking for a lower calorie alternative, avoid the flavored vodkas and spiced rums and go for the original or 'plain' option offered," she says. "If you are looking for a flavor boost, try low-calorie mixers like a flavored seltzer or fresh squeezed lemon or lime. This will provide the taste without the calories."

Light Beers

With fewer calories and carbs, these are the best brewskis for weight loss, Cederquist says. Many light beers contain 90 to 100 calories per 12 ounces, while extra-light beers pack about 55 to 65.

However, just don't use that as an excuse to have more beers than you typically would, or you'll undo all benefits. Hey, they generally pack less alcohol, right? Well, yeah, but they actually tend to have a higher percentage of their calories coming from alcohol compared to standard brews. Budweiser Select 55 for example derives 88.2 percent of its calories from alcohol, compared to Bud Light at 74.1 percent, and regular Budweiser at 66.9 percent calories, Fear says.

The Worst

Sugar-Packed Cocktails

"Margaritas and Long Island Iced Teas can set you back more calories than a large order of McDonald's French Fries," Fear says. Even worse, calories from sugar-laden drinks come as a sneak attack. When you drink a marg, your body is so overwhelmed with the alcohol content that your body doesn't properly metabolize the sugar. Instead, it stores the sweet stuff as fat.

There is never a good excuse to drink these and other sugar-filled cocktails especially if you are trying to lose weight or not develop diabetes, she says. Now, if you've got a skilled mixologist behind your bar, you're probably calorically safe ordering a cocktail. After all, he'd never serve up one of these artless offenses.

High-Alcohol Craft Beers

"The last five years have seen an explosion of craft breweries creating high-alcohol varieties, which pack more calories per bottle than you may realize," Fear says. Remember, more alcohol means more calories. Every gram of the good stuff contains seven calories.

For instance, Flying Dog Horn Dog, which contains 10.2 percent alcohol by volume, also contains 314 calories per bottle, and Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA boasts 18 percent alcohol by volume, but also packs 450 calories into each bottle. That's a meal in a glass. Unfortunately, though, all that alcohol can wind up making you hungrier.

The Best and Worst Booze to Drink if You Want to Lose Weight

If one deals with a gluten sensitivity, the only options is to avoid drinks with no gluten in them.

  • Wine is gluten free.
  • Sake is gluten free.
  • Distilled drinks are gluten free.
  • Most beers are not gluten free, however some are. This goes for some ciders as well.

This article explains it quite nicely: Gluten Free Beer, Alcohol and Wine

The end result is that all forms of drinking alcohol must be done in moderation. There is no one drink that is less hazardous to one’s health. Just keep it to one or two drinks a day.

If weight loss is on your mind, I would recommend a shot or two of straight (neat) liquor(s) or a light beer. Just because it is a light beer that should not be a license to drink as much as one wants, since moderation is always the key factor here.

  • What a explanation! Overwhelmed with you response! Thanks!
    – Akki
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 12:58
  • Good answer. I'd add that 1-2 drinks per day is still quite a lot by most normal standards. I'd regard that more as a maximum you should drink, rather than a healthy amount. The truly healthy amount is more like 1-2 per week or month.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 19:11

Another perspective. Alcoholic drinks contain ethanol and methanol Ethanol is the alcohol we want because it has the intoxicating effect we want without the detrimental effects of methanol that causes hangovers and blindness. Cheaper drinks contain more bad and less good. Particulates and dissolved solids also cause hangovers. So the more expensive and clearer the liquid the healthier it is. Providing the amount drunk is equivalent. Flushing with a pint or two of water before bed also mitigates the damage. In conclusion vodka in the same alcohol concentration as the others would be the least harmful. Ie vodka watered down to the same percentage alcohol as the beer would do less harm.

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