Expert advice on how to cut back on your alcohol intake

Expert advice on how to cut back on your alcohol intake

Do you want to cut back on your alcohol intake, but don't know how? Dietitian Sylven Masoga shares tips that can help you limit your alcohol consumption.

Alcohol abuse
Alcohol abuse/ iStock

South Africa has been found to have some of the highest consumers of alcohol in the world. This was reported by the World Health Organisation in 2018.

Dietitian Sylven Masoga from the University of Limpopo says people need to understand the danger of consuming more than the recommended amount of alcohol. He says it is because of the excessive drinking in the country that alcohol has been removed from the recommended foods and drinks list that dietitians use.

“As dietitians, we have rules and regulations that govern what we can recommend people to eat and drink. Alcohol has been removed from the recommendation list because of some of the dire consequences that come as a result of excessive drinking,” says Masoga. 

READ: "I stood in the line for 45mins waiting to buy alcohol and it was worth it"

He adds that some of the negative health effects of drinking excessively include liver problems, weight gain, and loss of taste buds.

“Alcohol can cause a person to have Triglycerides – fat that is caused by excessive drinking,” says Masoga. Some people even vomit as a result of drinking too much alcohol. Masoga warns that this can cause them to lose some of the nutrients they might have gained from other foods."

Masoga believes that prevention is better than cure. He says those who have not started drinking should consider staying away from alcohol.

READ: KZN weighs in on tobacco and alcohol ban during lockdown

However, for those who enjoy drinking, he says it is important to understand the recommended amount and stick to it.

“As dietitians, we recommend that those who cannot stay away from alcohol should drink in moderation. Men must not drink more than 600ml beer and women 300ml beer. This is a daily intake and is strictly for beer. When it comes to wine, the limit is 125ml and tot is 25ml. This is the amount that the body can tolerate.” 

He warns against doubling up the intake on certain days just because a person didn't drink the day before.

Masoga says those struggling to cut down should start by first limiting the times that they drink.

“We don’t have any substitutes for alcohol, but we advise people to eat fruits and smaller, frequent meals. This will lessen the cravings.”

READ: Durbanites toast alcohol ban lift

He adds that those wanting to cut down should “avoid visiting liquor stores and going to places where people are drinking.”

Masoga says those battling with alcohol addiction should seek professional help, as the addiction might be caused by underlying issues that were never dealt with. 

READ: Surviving without cigarettes during the lockdown

Image courtesy of iStock/ @KatarzynaBialasiewicz

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