by Margo Ruter
“Wine is good for your heart!”, my friend said to me as I picked out the bottle of wine. Well, that sure made me feel better about drinking on a Tuesday night. “Everyone knows wine in moderation can protect you from cardiovascular disease…”
I heard the doubt in her voice as we both paused, thinking that one bottle of wine for the two of us might not be enough for the evening. Is wine really the cure to cardiovascular disease (in moderation, of course)? If it is, then why are people still drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon or water for Christ’s sake?
Good thing someone in Denmark had the same thought and sought out to link alcoholic beverages (specifically wine) to indicators of a healthy diet. Using a total of almost 50,000 participants (both male and female) in two various cities in Denmark, researchers documented participant food and alcohol intake over a period of 2 years.
Red wine in particular is known to have non-ethanolic substances that act as antioxidants, but lifestyle factors have never been considered when linking the tradition of drinking wine to heart health.
These researchers found a consistent link between the participants’ preference of wine to the preference of healthier diets consisting of fruit, fish, cooked vegetables, salad and olive oil used for cooking. The same correlation was found when a Dane was increasing their wine intake, their intake of healthier foods also rose.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters, we should stop using the old, “it’s good for your heart” bit when justifying mid-week drinking. This study reveals the healthy benefits of wine are heavily associated with the diet choice of consistent light wine drinkers. The choice to have wine and eat healthy foods are considered linked variables and go hand in hand.
I wonder how healthy professional wine tasters are…
“Wine Intake and Diet in a Random Sample of 48763 Danish Men and Women”
by: Anne Tjønneland, Morten Grønbæk, Connie Stripp and Kim Overvad
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 69, No. 1, 49-54