Is red wine really good for you?

Navratras are over. Diwali feasts are over. Now it’s time for weddings, Christmas get-togethers and a big New Year’s do. Booze is all around you.

So what are you drinking? Are you sticking to red wine because it’s supposed to be good for you? And if your answer is yes, then how much?

In 2011, the American Heart Association polled 1,000 adults and found that 76 per cent agreed that wine could be good for the heart, but only 30 per cent knew what the recommended limits were.

The problem is that we take information at face value and ignore the fine print. And that can be detrimental for our health.

Is red wine as good as it’s meant to be?

Red wine worship started when people (Americans mostly) began to wonder how wine-guzzling, carb-loving French folk managed to stay much thinner and healthier than diet-obsessed others. This was called the French Paradox and the dietary habits of France were studied minutely.

A few studies and surveys later, wine (like olive oil) was put on a pedestal. This was because it contains compounds like quercetin and resveratrol (polyphenols), from the red/purple grapes from which wine is made, which can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and weight, and help prevent cancer.

Wine (both red and white) also has the lowest sugar content amongst alcoholic drinks, and at approximately 125 calories for a five-ounce pour, it’s a lighter choice than beer (250 calories for a pint) and mixed drinks (a single cocktail can go up to 500 calories). Plus, wine is mostly sipped slowly, so people probably drink less of it than any other kind of alcohol.

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