‘This Is a Food that I’d Like to Eat’ – How Much Is Too Much?
The new edition of the American Heart Association’s Dietary Guidelines, which are out for review this week, includes a section on red wine, which has been linked to a range of health problems including high blood pressure and heart attacks.
But while red wine has been identified as a contributing factor in a range at least three of the six deaths linked to red wine in the US, the association says it’s unclear whether red wine causes heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems.
A study published last year in the journal the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that consumption of red wine was associated with a 20 per cent higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The new study, published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, suggests red wine is not as beneficial as previously thought, and it suggests the benefits of red-wine consumption may not be as obvious as they once were.
For the study, researchers followed about 4,000 people over a decade to look at the effect of red and white wine consumption on cardiovascular health.
Researchers looked at blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and fasting glucose levels.
The researchers found that a 1-ounce glass of red red wine had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart attack than a glass of white wine.
A 2-ounce serving of red, which contains less red wine than white, had a 21 per cent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease compared to a serving of white.
Red wine was also associated with an 8 per cent reduction in fasting glucose and a 6 per cent increase in total cholesterol.
But the researchers say that in contrast to red, white and blue wine, there is no evidence that red wine reduces blood pressure or blood sugar.
“Red wine consumption has been shown to reduce blood pressure by about 3 per cent, while consumption of other beverages has been associated with about 3-fold lower blood pressure than red wine consumption,” said the study’s lead author, Dr J. Scott Mowat, from the University of Florida.
Dr Mow at the University said red wine’s effect on blood pressure was “much more significant than red-tequila consumption”.
“Red-teas are more likely to be associated with hypertension, and so red-vineas may have a larger effect than red wines on blood-pressure-related risks,” he said.
There’s also an argument that if you want to enjoy red wine with your dinner party, you should drink it at least four times a week, Dr Mow said.
“Red wine does have some health benefits, including lowering LDL cholesterol and improving blood sugar,” he added.
In a statement to The Conversation, the American Beverage Association said red wines had “shown some health benefit” and added that red and blue wines are not the only health benefits associated with red wine.
“We’ve been working with the FDA to make sure the agency is following the evidence,” the statement said.
The American Beverages Association also said that, while red-coloured wine was less likely to cause heart attacks, it did contain other health risks, such as cancer and certain types of diabetes.
While the association does not endorse red wine outright, it said reds are “one of the best-tasting beverages” for people to enjoy with meals.
“Our focus remains on reducing our overall red wine intake and increasing the quality of our food,” it said.