After a long, hard day, who doesn’t want to kick back with a glass of wine? It’s yummy and relaxing. You’ve probably heard enjoying alcohol in moderation won’t kill you, and you may have even heard that it’s heart friendly. The French and Italians seem to drink to their health. So you want to believe that a daily sip is a safe way to unwind. Well, yes … and no. Even though wine gets lots of positive press, new research regarding the health benefits reveals plenty of pros and cons. Here’s what you need to know before uncorking your next bottle.
Pro: Wine and Heart Health
Grapes and wine contain polyphenols, substances which act as antioxidants. Thanks to those anti-inflammatory properties, they can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and boost beneficial HDL cholesterol. Red wine in particular has been praised for its heart-health benefits, which include preventing blood clots and lowering your blood sugar. So a glass of red wine may help reduce your risk for heart disease, provided it’s no more than one glass a day.
Con: Wine and Cancer
Heart-healthy headlines ignore other diseases, particularly cancer. In fact, drinking any kind of alcohol (even wine) has been linked to an increased risk of developing cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, and colon. And new research on breast cancer is particularly sobering. Ladies, you might be surprised to learn that 5 percent of breast cancer cases are linked to alcohol alone. After menopause, if you make that drink a daily habit, your chances of developing breast cancer climb to 11 percent.
Pro: Wine and Diabetes
On the plus side, recent research also reveals that drinking any kind of alcohol, especially wine, may help protect against type 2 diabetes. But you don’t have to be heavy handed to sip in the benefits—just one tiny ounce of vino a day may help trim your risk by 20 percent.
Con: Wine and Calories
More sips bigger hips? It’s no surprise that alcohol serves up extra calories. One glass of red wine can add 123 calories to your day and 860 calories to your week. And while one study shows that a little bit of wine won’t prevent you from losing weight if you’re strict about counting calories, other research isn’t so favorable. Slinging back a glass every day could pack on over 12 pounds per year, which are likely to migrate toward your belly. Plus, how much control do you really have when it comes to wine? One glass has a way of splashing into a second, and can loosen your inhibitions and increase appetite, so you’re prone to eating more, too.
How to Imbibe Intelligently
If you’re worried about your cancer risk and you’d like to stay trim, set down the Chardonnay. You might be better off sipping sparkling water with lemon daily, and saving that glass for the occasional treat. But for some people, a daily glass of wine can be a perfectly healthy habit. Either way, when you do uncork a bottle, remember that wine only delivers its health benefits when enjoyed in moderation. That’s a maximum of 5 ounces a day for women and 10 for men. Which tends to look smaller than you’d think, especially after a glass of you-know-what.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.
21 CommentsLeave a comment
“After menopause, if you make that drink a daily habit, your chances of developing breast cancer climb to 11 percent.”
No, not TO 11%, but BY 11%. Small mistake, huge difference! 🙂
I was going to write the same comment, thank you 😉
Totally agree – this misunderstanding is far to common when journalists comment on cancer studies
Whenever you see percentages given in an article like this, there’s a fairly high (but the figure is unknown to me!) probability that it will be wrong. The public doesn’t understand percentages and probabilities, and neither do most of the authors. However, in this instance, the figure given is not that far from the lifetime probability of women developing what is termed breast cancer. Many, if not most (I’m not clear on this) will be first diagnosed when the woman is post-menopausal.
The other problem is the use of the word ‘glass’- most of these would be better described as buckets- the idea being that the half bottle that’s gone in there looks less.
That and many other detrimental health effects of alcohol are not mentioned. Risks outweigh the “benefits” tenfold.
Regarding the wine. What alcohol percentage should I look for?
What about white wine?
Please post the “sources” of the information you are sharing with us.
I have an allergy to nickel. I have notice that when I exercise and break a sweat my skin allergy appears? Is there any other way to charge your fitbit without using your computer.
Sipping on lemon water was mentioned as an alternative. From the perspective of your teeth that’s not a great option. Sipping is an activity that implies drinking for an extended time. If this is not done often, it is okay. However, subjecting your teeth to high acids frequently over extended time can cause irreversible breakdown of tooth enamel.
You could also easily add to the cons the sky-high rising risk of getting injured (nobody wants a ankle fracture on the way home) and exposed to violence – when consuming more the three units. In Norway a newly published study found that between 15-20% of all treatment at hospital is diseases and injuries caused by alcohol, and that 70% of all patients treated for violence injuries where influenced by alcohol. Also seldom mentioned is the 50% rise in risk of serious complications in surgery when consuming alcohol in the 14 days period before…
Can you get the same benefits from grape juice?
You neglected to mention those polyphenols can be gotten from grapes or several grape products like juice; no need to add the alcohol. And you neglected to mention a dozen other negative health effects from any alcohol.
-See link between drinking and smoking. One has to smoke out tobacco users to get results.
Warning ! Never drink any alcohol within 3 hours after taking blood pressure medicine. You WILL pass out.
My Fitbit Flex, which I have only had for just over one year, only lasts one day before the battery needs recharging. Can you please supply me with a new battery.
Thank you in anticipation.
Mrs V Sackley
I was told red wine was good for brain health ?
has anyone else linked a glass a wine a day to migraine headaches? i enjoy my one glass of cab a night and get at least two headaches a month, my doctor said to stop the alcohol and see what happens. Two weeks, no headaches, had a couple of glasses of sangria over the weekend, have had a headache for 2 days……?
I think my fit bit charge two is not very accurate counting steps it seems to be well over the top ,I tried it on auto , then putting in my own step info and they were both the same , is there anything else I can do , my friend has the same device and hers seems much more accurate
Thanks for such an informative article about drinking wine. Before reading this article, I was a little bit confused on some points. But now I have no confusion. Thanks again for your great effort on this post.
Great discussion! It helped me a lot, thanks!! Keep posting please
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