Canada's food guide

Alcohol

There are health risks linked to drinking alcohol.

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Benefits of limiting alcohol

Alcoholic drinks can add a lot of calories and offer little to no nutritional value. When alcohol is served with syrups, sugary drinks or as cream-based liquors, these drinks can have a lot of:

  • sodium
  • sugars
  • saturated fats

Health risks linked to drinking alcohol over the long term include:

  • liver disease
  • many types of cancer including:
    • liver
    • mouth
    • esophageal
    • pharynx (throat)
    • larynx (voice box)
    • breast, after menopause
    • colorectal (bowel and colon)
  • hypertension (high blood pressure)

Long-term drinking can also lead to an increased risk of social problems.

Alcohol guidelines

If you drink alcohol, Canada’s low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines give more information on how to reduce your risk of short- and long-term harm.

If you do not drink alcohol, you are not encouraged to start.

Further reading

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