Be Fit For Life

with Ellen Cohen-Kaplan

Cheers! Some good news about drinking wine (daily!)

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red wine

red wine

I post many articles about eating well, exercising regularly and avoiding sugar, carb and fat laden foods. Sometimes, that may not feel like much fun. Here’s a new study that speaks to the benefits of drinking wine daily- finally, a health habit that may be easy to maintain! A recent study done at Ben-Gurion University in Israel looked at the effects of daily wine consumption, and found that people with diabetes showed positive effects from drinking wine, even on a daily basis. Aside from the resveratrol benefits you may know about, it seems that regular wine consumption decreased blood sugar spikes. One of the reasons that wine may be better than other forms of alcohol is that is often consumed with food, which moderates sensitivity to insulin.

Researchers “found that the red wine drinkers had significantly increased their levels of good HDL cholesterol and had a more beneficial cholesterol ratio compared to the group that drank water. They were also the only group to experience a significant drop in components of metabolic syndrome. People who drank either red or white wine also reported better sleep quality than the group that drank water, and the researchers found no significant adverse effects with any group.” The wine drinkers — both those who drank white and red — benefited from improvements in blood sugar control.  However, it’s important to note that whenever you drink any alcohol, you should drink the same amount of water to counteract its dehydrating effects.

We all metabolize alcohol differently. Some of us are fast metabolizers, others are slow metabolizers — it’s determined by our genes. The slow metabolizers were the ones who reaped more benefit. The original research can be found here http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleID=2456121

Although the study was done with 224 people who have Type 2 diabetes,  the findings suggest that daily moderate alcohol intake is healthy for many people, especially for those with high cholesterol. Other studies have corroborated that moderate wine consumption is good for reducing depression, and the incidence of colon, breast , prostate, and lung cancers. Red and white wine have been shown to improve lung function. Red wine’s resveratrol has been shown to have a positive effect on blood vessels, thus mitigating the effects of aging, onset of dementia, and eye pathologies like macular degeneration. In other studies, moderate wine drinkers showed higher levels of omega 3 levels in their blood,  decreased incidence of liver disease and even the reduction of  harmful effects of sunburn! For more details, go to http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265635.php?page=2

One caveat is that in order to reap the benefits, moderate drinking is key; one drink a day for women and men over 65, and 2 drinks maximum for men under 65. So how do you define one drink? One drink = 12 ounces (355 milliliters, or mL) of beer, 5 ounces (148 mL) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 mL) of 80-proof distilled spirits. When one goes over these limits, the benefits reverse themselves, and may show up in decreased immune function and fatty liver, caused by toxicity and inability of the liver to metabolize the alcohol overload.

Sooooo, the take-away? Enjoy your red or white wine with dinner daily if you like. Now you can feel virtuous, more relaxed and know you’re doing something healthy all at once!  Salut!

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