A tipple too many 1 April 2014 Statistics show that about six litres of alcohol is consumed per person per yearworldwide. Since many people donâ€™t drink alcohol, we can assume many of those who do drink, drink too much. Alcohol is the most commonly used social drug in Australia and can cause drunkenness, changes in consciousness, mood and emotions. Guidelines (below) have been developed to reduce health risks and the guidelines for people with diabetes are the same as for the general population. Alcohol intake guidelines Adult men and women: no more than two standard drinks on any day reduces the lifetime risk of alcohol related disease or injury. Drinking no more than four standard drinks at a time reduces the risk of alcohol-related injury. Everyone should have one or two days free of alcohol a week. Children and young people: the safest choice for young people under 18 years of age is not to drink at all. Pregnant and breastfeeding women: the safest choice is not to drink alcohol while pregnant or breastfeeding or if you are planning to become pregnant. Examples of a standard drink 285ml or approximately one pot of regular beer (4.8% alcohol content) 375ml or one stubby of mid-strength beer (3.5% alcohol content) 2/3 of a 330ml bottle of cider (5% alcohol content) 100ml or one small glass of table wine (13.5% alcohol content) 30ml of spirits plus mixer (40% alcohol content) 60ml of port/sherry Red wine and heart disease The National Heart Foundation does not recommend drinking red wine for heart health. It is more beneficial not to drink alcohol at all rather than to choose to drink red wine. Alcohol and diabetes Excessive amounts of alcohol consumed on a regular basis may contribute to hyperglycaemia due to the carbohydrate in some drinks and also weight gain. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk for delayed hypoglycaemia, especially for those people using insulin or certain diabetes medication. A hypo can be mistaken for being drunk so if you have diabetes itâ€™s important that you check your blood glucose levels frequently and make sure you eat some carbohydrate while drinking alcohol e.g. crackers or pretzels. Alcohol and your weight Have you been trying to lose weight and it just wonâ€™t move? People seem to forget that alcohol contains a lot of calories. As you remove alcohol from your diet, weight begins to shift. Calorie content of popular alcoholic beverages: Regular beer, pot = 460kj (110cal) Light beer, pot = 315kj (75cal) Cider, pot = 492kj (118cal) Champagne, 120ml = 355kj (85cal) White wine, 120ml = 315kj (75cal) Red wine, 120ml = 335kj (80cal) To burn off the calories in one pot of beer you would need to do 30 minutes of house cleaning!