Cheers. Research continues to uncover the heart-healthy benefits of consuming wine in moderation, specifically red wine. Antioxidant-rich flavonoids and polyphenols are found in the skins of grapes and protect the heart and vessels from the damaging effects of free radicals. Animal studies have shown that the polyphenol resveratrol has been linked to increased HDL (good) cholesterol and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Resveratrol prevents blood clotting and plaque formation in arteries while improving overall vascular function. Red wine contains more heart protective resveratrol because it is fermented with grape skins longer than white wine.
Consider. Notably, the American Heart Association (AHA) states that excessive amounts of alcohol consumption could be harmful and lead to increased risk of high blood pressure, obesity, high triglycerides, liver damage, and stroke. For healthy adults, the AHA asks us to consider the following:
- Recommended consumption limit is one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men
- A drink is defined as 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof hard alcohol
- Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and, therefore, provides additional calories that should be factored into an individual’s overall caloric intake for the day.
Alcohol and Heart Health.American Heart Association. Retrieved from http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Alcohol-and-Heart-Health_UCM_305173_Article.jsp#.VmNw7TZdH4h