Hey Angels and Alphas,
We all know that water, coffee, and tea are some of the world’s most consumed beverages. But alcohol isn’t that far behind.
A recent survey discovered that almost 70 percent of Americans reported that they drank alcohol in the last year. How much people drink will vary widely, and we’re all familiar with all the negative effects that come from heavy drinking.
But over the past two or three decades, doctors, media outlets, and scientists have all dedicated a ton of time and energy into finding out whether or not moderate drinking – such as drinking red wine – is healthy and even healthier than abstaining from alcohol altogether.
Much of this initial interest lies in the “French Paradox”, a term referring to the relatively low rates of heart disease in France despite a diet high in saturated fat.
It’s generally a fun narrative, and it’s one that makes us feel better about the occasional (or even nightly) glass of wine.
So let’s talk about it – is wine actually healthy? Should you be drinking wine if you aren’t already? Let’s turn to the experts for help.
IS WINE ACTUALLY GOOD FOR YOU?
There has been a ton of observational research that has tried to show that moderate consumption of red wine is associated with a variety of health benefits, including reduced risk for cancer, hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. However, these studies are not really conclusive as they do not show cause and effect. There are likely countless of other lifestyle factors at play in these studies.
Experts equate the equation to the chicken and the egg dilemma: does wine really bring health benefits, or could it be the mixture of other healthier lifestyle factors?
If you’re a moderate drinker and you enjoy a glass of wine now and then, you probably don’t rely on wine to keep you healthy. Instead, it’s important to practice all other healthy behaviors such as getting enough sleep, eating a nutritious diet, exercising, and practicing stress relief.
There isn’t and there never will be one single nutrient that can be responsible for good health. Instead, it’s the mixture of various nutrition and lifestyle factors that make up a positive end result.
When it comes to wine and even alcohol, in general, moderation is vital. The health benefits quickly disappear, and the risks start outweighing the benefits when you go beyond a certain threshold.
AND WHAT ABOUT OTHER FORMS OF ALCOHOL?
Wine contains the antioxidant resveratrol, unlike other beverages, beer, or liquor.
Experts say this antioxidant works inside the body to decrease oxidative stress, and in turn, this helps prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes. Many studies actually support the idea that red wine, in particular, is a much healthier drink than other alcoholic beverages.
And many studies don’t support this idea, as well. It can be difficult to differentiate the cause and effect between various drink types and other lifestyle factors.
Nevertheless, experts stress that resveratrol is found in even higher concentrations in whole grapes, so wine isn’t necessarily the best place you should go looking for it. If you’re really in it for the antioxidants and their benefits, you’ll be much better off just eating red grapes or other plant-based foods than you are drinking red wine.
And even if you are someone who drinks red wine, you should still consume a healthy, nutritious, balanced diet, because even after a grueling day, wine cannot make a good substitute for a wholesome dinner.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
Wine can indeed be a part of a healthy lifestyle and, in some cases, can even bring more benefits than risks. The science isn’t exactly settled on how much wine may benefit your health, and alcohol consumption is generally associated with a host of negative health outcomes. If you do enjoy wine, drink it in moderation, but don’t rely on it to keep you healthy. Remember – alcohol is a toxin, and unless you’re a drinker, there’s no reason to start drinking now.