Dietary Information

Legal age adults who choose to drink should do so in moderation and should discuss their consumption with their health providers. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 includes the following recommendation for moderate consumption:

To help Americans move toward a healthy dietary pattern and minimize risks associated with drinking, adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink or to drink in moderation by limiting intakes to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, on days when alcohol is consumed.


There are also some people who should not drink at all, such as if they are pregnant or might be pregnant; under the legal age for drinking; if they have certain medical conditions or are taking certain medications that can interact with alcohol; and if they are recovering from an alcohol use disorder or if they are unable to control the amount they drink. If adults age 21 years and older choose to drink alcoholic beverages, drinking less is better for health than drinking more.

The Guidelines provide information for specific populations, such as older adults, lactating, and pregnant people. See the Guidelines for more information. As discussed in the Guidelines, two key areas for making responsible alcohol choices are the number of calories and the amount of alcohol in each drink consumed. More information and resources for calculating standard alcohol servings and serving facts (such as calories and other nutrients) in alcohol beverages are included in the following pages.