Lower diabetes risk? I’ll drink to that…

On Monday, I shared the latest ugly diabetes statistics — which hopefully persuaded you to take this deadly disease seriously. (Assuming you still needed any convincing, that is.)

But in case you also need reassurance that diabetes prevention doesn’t have to be torture, I’ve got another new study to share today.

It looked at the drinking habits of more than 70,000 adults participating in the Danish Health Examination Survey (DANHES). Researchers collected data between 2007 and 2008, with approximately five years of follow-up, ending in 2012.

These latest results appeared recently in the European journal Diabetologia. And they’re proof positive that you don’t have to give up everything you love to get a handle on your health.

In fact, this study showed that frequent alcohol consumption — defined as drinking three to four days a week — is linked with lower risk of diabetes in both men and women. And not exactly by a small margin either.

Compared to subjects who didn’t drink, men who had 14 drinks a week benefited from a 43 percent reduction in diabetes risk. While women who had 9 drinks weekly saw their risk drop by an even more impressive 58 percent.

And this is after accounting for confounding factors like age, BMI, smoking status, diet, and family history of heart disease and diabetes. If that’s not a good excuse to raise your glass, I don’t know what is.

But this is where I will offer my own professional caveat — which is to pass on beer, wine, and (obviously) sugary mixed drinks. Stick with clear alcohols and seltzer with a twist instead.