Date: July 17, 2019

Showers or thunderstorms ending near noon then mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon. Local amount 15 to 25 mm. High 28. Humidex 37. UV index 7 or high.

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Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines

This page was reviewed or revised on Thursday, August 6, 2015 3:14 PM

Canada's Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines give adults (25-65 years old), who choose to drink alcohol, more information about:

  • A standard drink
  • Reducing short and long-term health risks
  • Reducing risk of injury and harm
  • When not to drink

Watch a short video that explains Canada’s Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines.

Standard Drinks

Many people are surprised to learn what counts as an actual drink. In Canada, a 'standard' drink contains about 13.6 grams of "pure" alcohol. Once you know what a standard drink is you will know how much alcohol you are actually drinking.

One standard drink equals:

*Note: High alcohol % beer, coolers, cider and fortified wines contain more than one standard drink.

Image reproduced with permission from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

Low-risk drinking suggestions:

  • Women: 10 drinks a week, with no more than 2 drinks a day on most days.
  • Men: 15 drinks a week, with no more than 3 drinks a day on most days.
  • Plan non-drinking days each week to avoid developing a habit.
  • Set limits and stick to them.
  • Drink slowly. Have no more than 2 drinks in any 3 hours.
  • For every drink of alcohol, have one non-alcoholic drink.
  • Eat before, and while you are drinking.
  • Age, body weight and health problems might suggest lower limits.
  • Avoid alcohol when taking certain medications or driving.
  • If you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or about to breastfeed, the safest choice is to drink no alcohol at all.

If you do not drink, do not start for health reasons. Try less risky options like more exercise, eating better and stop smoking. Health benefits of alcohol apply mainly to people over 45 years of age. One drink, every other day is enough to provide any health benefits for most people; more than two (2) drinks per day does more harm than good.

Be a role model; talk with your kids about responsible use of alcohol.

Visit Rethink Your Drinking.ca for more information on Canada’s Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines and related reports, visit Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse or Lambton Public Health 519-383-8331 or toll free 1-800-667-1839. Information is based on the Low-Risk Drinking Guidelines, developed by the National Alcohol Strategy Advisory Committee.

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