Day 226-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Is Red Wine Really Heart Smart?

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I really wanted to do a post this morning justifying having a glass of red wine every night, but according to the Mayo Clinic, the jury is still out on whether it is any more beneficial than any other alcohol for heart health. Still, I thought it worth taking a look see, so here are my findings.

Red wine has more antioxidants

It seems that red wine has antioxidants called  polyphenols in it and the one getting all the attention is resveratrol. According to some studies, it can lower the bad cholesterol (LDL), prevent blood clots and damage to blood vessels. Yet other studies did not find any evidence to support the theory; it seems that more research is needed.

The reason that red wine has been the hero is because it is fermented with grape skins longer than white wine, therefore it contains more resveratrol. Why wouldn’t just drinking grape juice or eating grapes work the same? Because the amount of resveratrol in food and wine can vary widely. One could take supplements but the body cannot absorb most of the resveratrol in them to matter.

Red grapes contain resveratrol

We all know that drinking too much is bad for you, yet studies show that red wine, in moderation, may be beneficial for heart health. That means for ladies up to one glass per night (5 oz.) and for men up to two glasses (because they weigh more). I learned to like red wine when I lived down south-before I met the ladies in Sertoma, I only drank Zinfandel. I was told that grown ups drink Cabernet and that was when I made the switch. As many of you know from following my blog however, wine is not the only alcohol I drink, I like some spirits as well-tequila and vodka mainly.

Well, it seems that other studies have found that all alcohol (in moderation) is beneficial to heart health because it raises the healthy cholesterol (HDL) and reduces the formation of clots. It also might improve the function of the endothelium which is the layer of cells that line the blood vessels.

Sounds to me like we are all safe enjoying a glass of wine, a beer or a drink as long as we don’t go overboard with it. In my own experiments, one glass may help me sleep better yet two or more keep me awake and make me grit my teeth. :/

The bottom line is, enjoy a glass of red wine occasionally but eat a well balanced diet for heart health including fruits and vegetables, fish and lean meats. The more color on your plate, the better. You know what they say…eat the rainbow!

I hope I helped clear some things up for you and if you have questions or comments, you know what to do. Join me tomorrow for Throwback Thursday and a warmer day, on the patio. 😎


4 Replies to “Day 226-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Is Red Wine Really Heart Smart?”

  1. I hope I never have a glass of wine prescribed for me. I get looped on about an eighth of a cup! We have wine with dinner two or three times a week, so I have a special tiny glass that can’t hold much. Even then, it is sometimes too much, depending on the wine.

  2. After my (second) heart attack my cardiologist prescribed a new medication that MUST be taken with red wine. So, even though I still claim over 40 years sobriety I now have one 4 oz glass of red wine nightly. My pill wouldn’t work otherwise. Gotta say though, it is hell on recovery to be drinking anything. So, I have to be far more conscious of what i am feeling and thinking in order to maintain my sobriety.

    1. I can imagine so! Thank goodness you can take your own advice since you used to be a counselor. I like my red wine but know better than to overdo it. I don’t know what kind of red wine you like, but I love a good cabernet! (I’m cheap though so I stick to a bottle that costs under $10 most of the time. 🙂 ) Currently a favorite brand of mine is Dark Horse…how about you?

      1. I buy the super cheapo stuff..usually a dark red dessert wine . Currently it is a kosher wine from Israel called Barkin Syrah (shiraz). It is too sweet for me to want more than a tiny bit.

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