Is drinking a glass of wine a day as healthy as we’ve been made to believe?
I’d like to talk about a little underemphasized word in the health world called ‘moderation’. Every topic related to health seems to be linked to an extreme magic bullet that can fix any ailment overnight. While we would all love to believe the hype that dark chocolate and red wine are antioxidant super-food heroes, the reality may be quite different. This leads to another under-discussed topic in health and wellness media called ‘scientific fact’. Spoiler alert; this article may be a bit of a buzzkill for people who have pantries full of wine and chocolate, eat copious amounts, and consider it part of their health regime.
The reason red wine has become a media darling in the health world is largely because it contains a polyphenol called reservatrol that has antioxidant properties. In animal studies, it has “been linked” to heart health and is said to have antiinflammatory properties. However, human studies are limited and pretty inconclusive. You can find studies that loosely support both sides of the argument. Additionally, wines have a lot of variance when it comes to the quantity of reservatrol they contain, many with insignificant doses to impact health.
The inCHIANTI study (a 16-year long look at the blood, urine and dietary questionnaires of hundreds of people living in the Italian winemaking region of Chianti) recently found that resveratrol wasn’t associated with disease or lifespan, to the horror and devastation of wine lovers everywhere. But that doesn’t mean red wine is unhealthy—just that the famed ingredient resveratrol may not deserve all the credit.
Many studies have shown that light alcohol consumption in general has been associated with lower heart disease and lower mortality rates. Alcohol itself in light doses raises good cholesterol and helps with anticlotting. Since red wine does have antioxidants and certain known health benefits, why not make it the drink of choice.
So what does this mean for white wine drinkers? Not much if reservatrol is not the connection but a lot if it is, as the skins of white grapes contain far les; white wine is typically made only from pulp, but some studies say it has its own benefits. White wine has two strong antioxidants of its own, tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, also found in olive oil but not in red wine, and are also linked to heart health and low blood pressure.
What is well documented are the deleterious effects of the consumption of excessive alcohol and what is doesn’t delete is your waistline! Wine and any alcohol in excess can lead to cancer, liver damage, digestive problems, bone loss, heart problems, and the list continues. This leads us right to the old adage “everything in moderation.
Amy Selbach is the owner of Taut Body Studio in Village Market. She is a holistic health coach, personal trainer and Pilates instructor and creator of the Taut Body program that has helped hundreds of her clients lose weight and change their health completely. She also leads life-design and business incubator workshops for entrepreneurs. Details at www.tautbody.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org