glasses, toasting, cheers

Alcohol and Cancer: Updated Guidelines

✨New from the American Cancer Society ✨

Guidelines just released from the American Cancer Society say that it is “best not to drink alcohol.”

Based on information from the World Cancer Research Fund, the International Agency on Cancer Research, the US Departments of Agriculture, and other agencies, this guideline is the first update from the American Cancer Society in the last 8 years. There are a few areas where the current guideline has changed since 2012:

👉 The previous recommendation was to limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men. The update says that, optimally, alcohol should be avoided completely.

👉More physical activity is now recommended: one hour per day for kids and 5 hours a week for adults.

👉The new guideline focuses more on healthy dietary patterns rather than individual nutrients.


Wondering what’s behind the recommendation to 100% avoid alcohol? The American Cancer Society reports:

😢Alcohol consumption is an established cause of at least 7 types of cancer.

😢Both alcohol and acetaldehyde (its metabolite) are cancer-causing in humans.

😢Consumption of ANY amount of alcohol increases the risk of some cancers—notably breast cancer

What are some ways to stop drinking or reduce the amount of alcohol you consume?
  • Start with a plan and choose a structure that will work for you. Think over the gritty details such as what will you do when you feel the urge to drink?
  •  Build a strong support team. Join AA, rally your friends. You are more likely to be successful when you have accountability. 
  •  Talk to your doctor before quitting cold turkey. In some cases quitting cold turkey can be dangerous or fatal. Your doctor’s advice can go a long way to keep you safe.
  • Reducing your drinking beforehand often makes it easier to quit completely. Of course, moderation can be tricky to achieve, but there are many strategies that can help. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism offers some very useful tips for cutting back. 
  • Practice self care such as massage, acupuncture, nutrition counseling, meditation or prayer.
  • Find new activities to replace alcohol. Consider hitting the gym after work to replace having a beer. Seek out social groups that focus on shared hobbies—like music, sports, arts and crafts, or hiking. Fill your schedule with things to do instead of drinking, and watch as they eventually take the place of alcohol in your life.
  • Set long term goals. Start by listing the reasons why you want to cut back or quit. Perhaps you want to be a better parent, you want to feel healthier, or you want to be better at your job. When you first stop drinking, write these goals down and carry them with you as a reminder. Then reward yourself as you make progress. If it’s been a month since your last drink, buy yourself a nice dinner, or a new piece of clothing. Use positive reinforcement and big-picture thinking to guide you forward.
  • Don’t give up!!
wanderer, backpack, hike

Non-alcoholic Drink Alternatives



  • 3 grapefruits, juiced
  • ¾ ounce fresh lime juice
  • ¾ ounce agave syrup
  • 1 sprig thyme, for garnish


  1. Light thyme on fire and catch smoke in a snifter and cover with a coaster.
  2. Shake grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave, and then strain into smoked glass.
  3. Garnish with thyme.



  • 5 ounces green tea, chilled
  • ½ ounce coconut milk
  • 5 ounces coconut soda, chilled


  1. Stir chilled tea and milk in a tall Highball glass.
  2. Top with chilled soda.



  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 ½ ounces orgeat, or almond syrup
  • 4 ounces mineral water, such as Mineragua or Topo Chico


  1. Pour lemon juice and orgeat into Collins glass with pebble ice.
  2. Top with mineral water.
  3. Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig.