The link between red wine and a healthy heart has had strong proponents for quite some time. But is that link valid? How much wine is healthy? Should everyone be drinking red wine? ReactDx, the cardiac event monitor company, would like to clear the confusion surrounding red wine and cardiovascular health to help you decide whether red wine should be part of your daily routine.
Red wine contains antioxidants called flavonoids, which are believed to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels. HDL, the “good” cholesterol, helps keep LDL levels under better control. Flavonoids may also help prevent coronary artery disease. Resveratrol, another antioxidant found in the seeds and skins of grapes, are believed to play a part in lowering blood pressure levels.
Red or White?
White wine does not contain as much resveratrol as red, since red wine is fermented for a longer time with the skins intact. This increases the amount of resveratrol in the end product. However, alcohol actually plays no part in red wine’s benefits. Eating red or purple grapes or drinking grape juice will give the same antioxidant benefits as drinking red wine. Blueberries, cranberries, and peanuts also contain resveratrol.
The French Paradox
The tie between wine and heart health is known as the “French paradox;” studies have shown that the French population has a lower incidence of heart disease. Considering their diet contains cheese and other foods high in fat, researchers have long puzzled over why this diet is tied to a lower chance of heart disease. The well-known Mediterranean diet features red wine on its menu, further strengthening this theory. The studies linking heart health and red wine are observational. With only an association as the link and not a true cause and effect, red wine is not truly proven to be heart healthy.
The antioxidants found in red wine are still beneficial when consumed responsibly. Moderate drinking is considered to be a glass of wine for women and older individuals, and 2 glasses for men. Health effects of alcohol of any form have not been tested in a long-term, randomized study.
Know the facts before you decide to start a heart-healthy diet. Contact the cardiac event monitor professionals online or at ReactDx at 800-23-HEART to learn more about increasing your heart health with portable heart monitors. Our blog page contains dozens of articles on how to keep your heart healthy.