Nothing to wine about

Does a glass a day really keep the doctor away?

Wine aficionados far and wide cling to the hope that red wine may have health benefits. It’s the unconfirmed fun-fact that we mutter as we pour a glass at dinner or order another round with friends. However, since alcohol isn’t known for being stellar for your health, it’s time for us to seriously dig into this rumor before opening another bottle.

We’re not going to string you along and tell you that there are strong health benefits to drinking wine. For many people, it’s fine to drink wine in moderation, but for some, it’s better to not drink any at all. That really depends on your personal health and you should talk to a doctor to make sure you’re treating your body right.

However, it is interesting to delve into the root of this rumor. For that, we have turned to our amazing network of doctors.

“Many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It’s possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits and can increase HDL ( good cholesterol levels). After one glass a day however there is no known benefit and may actually have negative effects, so all things in moderation.” — Dr. Mark Gujer

As we stated before, red wine is fine in moderation. Some doctors suggest having a glass of red wine with dinner to help your heart, but don’t turn that inch into a mile. It’s far from being a green light to let the wine flow freely all night long. However, it’s hard for wine lovers not to feel giddy upon hearing this information –– we understand.

Of course, nothing is ever that simple. There are pros and cons to red wine and enjoying the benefits isn’t as easy as drinking a glass. So before you reach for the wine opener, hear Dr. Cattano’s clarifications:

“Too much red wine can raise blood pressure & the risk of certain cancers. Too little may not achieve a lowered risk of heart disease & benefits in type 2 diabetes. In a 2-year study, diabetics adherent to a Mediterranean diet + 5 ounces of red wine daily had a 9.8% increase in good HDL cholesterol than white wine or water drinkers. Red wine has 13x more resveratrol than white.” — Dr. Charles Cattano

This is potentially good news for those who love Mediterranean food. HDL cholesterol isn’t controlled by simply enjoying a glass of red wine, it’s actually part of a greater change in diet. Further, when choosing a glass of red wine over white, you’re considering more than just the colors and flavors. It comes down to resveratrol (which Dr. Gujer briefly touched on earlier) which can increase HDL.

So now, you might have a clearer picture of what how exactly red wine might be a health benefit. It’s part of a greater balanced diet and has to do with the increased amount of resveratrol that red wine has over white.

To round out this picture, Dr. Korenis has more specific guidelines for your Mediterranean diet and, let’s face it, we all love to fantasize about food. Please, indulge us.

“Red wine is very good for you in moderation. It contains resveratrol which has been linked to numerous health benefits including: prevention against cardiovascular disease, maintaining memory and preventing dementia, improving sleep, helping fight against cholesterol. All of this in combination with a Mediterranean diet high in omega three fatty acids, fish, vegetables have been shown to help.” — Dr. Panagiota Korenis

Is anyone else hungry right now?

We’re craving a heart-healthy Mediterranean dinner tonight. Grab some olive oil and fresh salmon and turn on the grill –– we’ll bring the wine.

Author: Maya Gilliss-Chapman