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Learn about wine and heart health

wine

Research shows moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of heart disease by 30 to 50 percent but the key to alcohol and heart health is moderation. In small amounts, alcohol can raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and it can also reduce the risk of blood clots and help maintain a healthy blood pressure.

Red wine is a concentrated source of resveratrol, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. The most concentrated sources of resveratrol can be found in wines made from pinot noir grapes and Cabernet Sauvignon from Canada and Bordeaux (cold/humid climates). You can also find resveratrol in foods like cinnamon, dark chocolate, red grape juice, tea, coffee and onions.

If your doctor says it’s safe to drink alcohol, moderation means one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men. A drink is considered a 12-ounce beer or four ounces of wine. It’s important to remember that having more than two drinks a day may lead to high triglycerides, hypertension, heart failure, obesity, diabetes, stroke, alcoholism and cancer. The American Heart Association states that if you drink alcohol, do so in moderation but if you do not already drink alcohol, do not start.

Julie Holbrook
Registered Dietitian
Centegra Health System
815-759-4135

JHolbrook@centegra.com