It’s said that a glass of wine a day keeps the doctor away. Could this be true? Today we shall try to find out how we can get the health benefits of wine.
The French diet is often used as an example of how wine can improve heart health. The French have a fairly high-fat diet but their heart disease risk is relatively low. And some have attributed this to red wine.
But there are so many differences between the lifestyle of the French and other people from their activity levels to the foods they eat. Certainly we cannot isolate red wine as the magic bullet for disease prevention .
‘Choose whichever alcoholic beverage you enjoy, drink it in moderation and try to have it with meals’ advise Dr. Mutabazi Vincent a specialist on heart diseases and alcohol related diseases. He encourages patients who enjoy alcohol to also drink it with meals.
“Alcohol can stimulate the appetite so it is better to drink it with food. When alcohol is mixed with food, it can slow the stomach’s emptying time and potentially decrease the amount of food consumed at the meal,” However, he agrees that any alcohol in limited quantity will provide the same health benefit.
Alcohol also can have a very powerful effect and increase “good” cholesterol by 20 percent if used moderately and in the context of a healthy diet along with regular physical activity.
“The research evidence points to ethanol, or the alcohol component, of beer, wine, or spirits as the substrate that can help lower cholesterol levels, increase ‘good’ HDL cholesterol,” he says.
This might sound funny, but while I was watching TV some time back, they were talking about a recent study that showed a boost in brain power for women who enjoy a little alcohol.
The study, published in the Jan. 20 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, evaluated more than 12,000 women aged 70-81. Moderate drinkers scored better than teetotalers on tests of mental function.
Researchers found a boost in brainpower with one drink a day. Moderate drinkers had a 23 percent reduced risk of mental decline compared with nondrinkers.
Just as you shouldn’t eat a 12-ounce steak daily, you need to watch your portion sizes of alcohol as well.
What is one drink?
• 5 ounces of wine
• 12 ounces of beer
• 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits, such as vodka
Will A Drink A Day Make You Fat?
A drink a day may help keep your brain sharp and heart healthy but what about the calories?
Alcohol supplies calories with few essential nutrients. If you drink alcohol, it needs to be budgeted into “discretionary calories” to maintain a healthy weight.
A little may be good but too much alcohol can lead to serious problems.
No one should start drinking if they don’t already drink. It is well known that alcohol can lead to numerous health problems for many individuals, such as pregnant women and women at high risk for breast cancer (alcohol raises the risk of breast cancer).
To gain the benefits of good health, do your part to enjoy your one to two drinks per day at mealtime and follow the advice of the dietary guidelines for food, fitness, and weight management.