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By Elizabet Lozano

The health battle between red and white wine

Red wine is often thought to have more health benefits than white wine. However, recent studies suggest high-quality white wine may have its own benefits to offer.

Seeing red

The reason red is considered to be healthier is because of the antioxidants it contains, namely polyphenols and flavonoids. One type of polyphenol found mostly in reds is called resveratrol, which comes from the grape skins and the longer fermentation process. Resveratrol has been found to inhibit enzyme activity, therefore preventing cancer cell growth. It can also protect blood vessels and eliminate blood clots.

Do the white thing

White wine also contains antioxidants. As a matter of fact, researchers in Barcelona found it contains more antioxidants than reds. It also has fewer calories, so it can aid people whose main concern is losing weight. While more evidence is being gathered to find the reasons behind the benefits of white wine, it is clear that it holds as many as red. It has also been found to promote lung health and contains anti-aging properties.

Benefits in both

In a couple of recent studies, both red and white wines held an equal number of benefits. Aside from helping to raise HDL cholesterol and restricting the negative effects of LDL, they have also been found to improve glucose control. Israeli researchers gathered 224 patients with Type 2 diabetes to participate in a two year study. These participants were told to drink 150 mL of either red wine, white wine, or mineral water with dinner every night. They were asked to follow a Mediterranean diet with no restrictions on calories,and to exchange butter for olive oil. This study revealed which aspects of one’s health profile were actually affected. The following showed no change among all participants: blood pressure, adiposity, liver function, drug therapy, or quality of life. Those who drank red wine with dinner had improved heart function and better cholesterol levels. Both red and white wine drinkers had improved glucose control and better sleep quality.

The downside

Although it is clear that both types of wine can have a good effect on cardiac function, heart patients should remain wary. This research does not imply a cure or reversal of already existing problems, only a possibility to prevent further damage. It is important to note that any form of alcohol should be drunk in moderation. It is an addictive substance and if abused will cause a myriad of health problems. A moderate serving of wine is one five-ounce glass a day.

So when asked which of the two types of wine is healthier, one could argue they are equal in their benefits. Both contain essential minerals. Both improve heart function and cholesterol levels and, when coupled with a healthy diet and exercise, can help regulate glucose levels in diabetics. For someone looking for a wine with a richer, more robust flavor, it is recommended to choose a red. Someone looking for a lighter, sweeter or more crisp drink, or someone watching their figure, will want to opt for the white.

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