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Drink your way to good health: Is wine really good for you?

Good healthWe all really, really want this to be the truth right? Most people we know like to have a glass or two of wine in the evening, but just how much is good for you? And can it really do the things some “experts” suggest?

We’re all very aware that drinking too much alcohol is bad of course, particularly for those under a lot of stress, or indeed those with a highly addictive personality. Luckily however, this doesn’t apply to everyone, and the vast majority of us can “use the booze” responsibly, and indeed enjoy having the occasional tipple. So let’s have a look at just how good it is for you.

Don’t always believe the hype

It’s very easy to believe everything you read when you’re on social networking sites etc. They guide you off to a thousand different health blogs here and there, and you are presented with such a wealth of information, it becomes hard to distinguish what’s true and what’s false (or exaggerated!)

It is true that drinking alcohol can help in the fight against heart disease, yes, but it does not have the massive impact that some websites would have you believe. It has far greater protective qualities on people in their 40s in actual fact, and doesn’t really have any real significant impact on those much younger. This is especially so when you compare it with all the things younger people could do in place of drinking more alcohol and risk overdoing it: quitting smoking, getting more exercise and eating healthier for example; these things are much more effective.

Red wine

When it comes to wine, there is a general rule of thumb that suggest the darker the wine, the better it is for you. You have to be careful here however, because this can also often suggest that it has a greater alcohol content. The darker red wines often have more of what they call polyphenols, which are basically natural antioxidants. But again, as with anything really, you have to be careful just how much you consume in order not to actually do more harm than good!

Wine and weight loss

Again with the hype here! You have to be so careful about what you read; it really does help to do your own research. All the articles you’ve read on Facebook about wine helping you lose weight are grossly exaggerated. In actual fact, for those of you who didn’t drink wine before bed, and now are, you’re likely to gain weight, not lose it!

These articles are all based upon “studies” that have shown that mice that were fed a high fat diet. Some mice were also given what they call resveratrol (found in wine), and these mice gained 40% less weight. What’s important to know about this resveratrol is that it converts one type of fat into another type of fat; thus making it easier to burn. Now, think about for a moment, if you’re not going to do any extra exercise, then you’re not going to “burn” that fat that’s now easier to burn, are you? Mice on the other hand? Well, they run around all the time, and in comparison to humans these days, they get a lot more exercise. Just a thought for you there.

So don’t be so quick to reach for the wine before you retire for the night. Besides, if you’re anything like us, having a drink of wine only ever leads to the cheeseboard!