Red wine gets a lot of attention as the healthier option if you indulge in alcohol from time to time. If you’ve always been a fan of chardonnay over pinot noir, the divide between the 2 may not be as wide as you think.
Let’s take a look at whether white wine is good for you and if those benefits are worth adding white wine to your diet.
The Great Debate
Let’s get one important point out of the way first: Wine can be OK for healthy adults in moderate amounts. Not drinking at all will still always be better for you than adding any type of alcohol to your diet.
The American Heart Association will tell you not to start drinking wine if you don’t already, especially if you have problems with high blood pressure or cardiovascular function. A healthy diet and exercise sounds boring, but it’s more powerful than any wine.
That said, there are some modest benefits associated with wine if you’re already a fan. Moderation is the key to unlocking the benefits.
Red wine is typically considered the healthiest wine thanks to the free radical-fighting antioxidant resveratrol found in red grape skins. While it’s not completely understood, the potential benefits of red wine include:
- Reduced risk of heart disease and blood clots
- Improved blood sugar management
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced dementia risk
- Lower risk of some cancers
- Increased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels
HDL is the “good” cholesterol linked to better cardiovascular outcomes compared to low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the “bad” kind.
The thing is, the health benefits of red wine decrease once your wine consumption goes over moderate amounts. You can actually have the opposite effect on your heart, blood vessels, even weight gain as you increase your alcohol intake.
Too much alcohol consumption can even speed up cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. That’s true of both wine and any type of alcoholic drinks.
Drinking too much just isn’t good for you.
If you’re wondering whether you can sub that glass of red wine with something else to get that boost of polyphenols, you’re in luck. Red grapes, blueberries, a serving of dark chocolate, even a glass of non-alcoholic wine can all give you a resveratrol boost if you’re cutting back on alcohol.
The bottom line is that red wine may have some good stuff going on, but it isn’t the only source for that good stuff.
How much is too much wine?
Moderate drinking is defined as a single glass of wine per day for women and up to 2 glasses of wine per day for men. If you’re used to a heavy pour, you’re probably already drinking beyond those amounts. A single serving of wine is only 5 oz of wine.
If you’re into fortified wine like port, the serving size is just 3 oz. Those wines have a much higher alcohol content over conventional wines.
Anything beyond that and you’re potentially setting yourself up for health issues over time, not to mention a nasty wine headache and other hangover symptoms the day after.
White Wine’s Purported Health Benefits
White wine doesn’t have as much resveratrol to lean on, but both red and white wine have been linked to a few health benefits with moderate consumption. Possible health benefits of white wine include:
- Antioxidant boost: Yes, we see you, resveratrol. Red wine may have a higher phenol count overall, but white wine has just as much of an antioxidant capacity. That means it may have similar effects on oxidative stress as red wine.
- Improved lung function: Both red and white wine have been linked to reduced oxidative stress, but one study showed that white wine does a better job at improving lung health. That same study cautioned that more research is needed to rule out other lifestyle factors.
- Anti-aging effects: A limited amount of white wine may reduce your risk of dementia and other cognitive problems as you age. This was thanks to polyphenols in white wine reducing oxidative stress on brain cells.
- Lower risk of some cancers: Studies show that flavonoids in white wine are similar to antioxidants in red wine when reducing your risk of some cancers, like breast cancer.
- Reduced hangover risk: Dark liquors and red wine have higher levels of congeners, a product of fermentation linked to more severe hangovers. If you’re prone to red wine headaches, you may not feel the same effects after white wine.
While you don’t need to drink white wine at all to benefit from those antioxidants, there are ways to make sure it’s better for you.
What is the healthiest white wine to drink? The healthiest white wine to drink is a non-alcoholic white wine. From there, dry, low-sugar varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are better for you over high-sugar dessert wines, like a sweet riesling.
Some high-sugar wines resemble grape juice more than white wine, a big no-no for anyone watching their blood sugar.
Is it OK to drink white wine every day? It is OK to drink white wine every day if you stick to moderate wine drinking.
If that doesn’t sound like fun, you don’t need any limits if you choose non-alcoholic wine.
Drink as Much as You Want with Non-Alcoholic Wine
If you love the idea of the potential health benefits of wine without the adverse effects of alcohol, you’ll love Surely’s non-alcoholic wine.
You can drink wine and stay healthy with Surely non-alcoholic wine.
- Red Wine Consumption and Cardiovascular Health
- Effects of red wine polyphenols and alcohol on glucose metabolism and the lipid profile: a randomized clinical trial
- Resveratrol: A Review of Pre-clinical Studies for Human Cancer Prevention
- Relationship of Wine Consumption with Alzheimer’s Disease
- Beneficial effects of white wines
- Evidence for a Positive Association Between Pulmonary Function and Wine Intake in a Population-Based Study
- Beneficial effects of white wine polyphenols-enriched diet on Alzheimer’s disease-like pathology
- No Difference Between Red Wine or White Wine Consumption and Breast Cancer Risk
- The role of beverage congeners in hangover and other residual effects of alcohol intoxication: a review