Since working with reknowned Chef Steve Chiapetti on our Hauser Diet recipes and photo shoots, we have gained a great appreciation for how wine can complement a meal. When you combine the perfect wine with your delicious home-cooked meal, you get a match made in heaven!
Research has suggested that most of the heart-healthy benefits of wine come from antioxidant compounds primarily found in the grape skins. These compounds are called anthocyanins and contribute to the red color of the fruit. In the making of red wines, the grape skins are crushed along with the pulp. But the skins are quickly separated out during the making of most white wines. Hence came the belief that red wines, which contain more of these anthocyanins, are responsible for the wine’s beneficial effects in fighting heart disease. Researchers in an article published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry say that new evidence suggests the pulp of grapes appears to be just as heart-healthy as the skin, thanks to other types of antioxidants present in the flesh. In addition, tests showed both extracts appeared to have the same level of antioxidant activity.
This now challenges the idea that red wines, like cabernet sauvignon, merlot, and pinot noir, are better for the heart than white wines, such as chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and Riesling. Sounds like they are equally as good from these studies. But…are they?
WHAT ABOUT BEER?
Interestingly enough, recent studies have shown that consumption of alcohol in moderation is good for the cardiovascular system. Its consumption can be associated with elevated levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or good cholesterol). So does this mean that we recommend everyone have a brew or two with dinner?
SO WE CAN ALL DRINK WINE AND BEER?
Well, we in the Hauser Diet world would say, no! As you know already, not all patients have the same physiology – hence the need for Diet Typing. We recommend that everyone determine what breakdown of carbs/protein/fats are optimal for their specific body make-up. Those trying to follow a vegetarian (Giraffe) diet, who have the physiology of a Lion (carnivore) are not going to feel their best. Thus, the same thing occurs when someone drinks wine/beer who doesn’t metabolize it well.
Wine/beer affects people differently. Someone who suffers from hypoglycemia and who does not do well with carbs is not going to do well with wine/beer – red or white or brown! In other words, Lions and Otters are not going to feel optimal with added carbohydrates such as wine/beer in their diets. This will only provide them with additional calories, reduce their energy, and most likely contribute to a hypoglycemic episode. When drinking wine mixed with fruit juices to make your favorite sangria – this is even worse for the Lion and Otter. Giraffes, Monkeys, and Bears to some degree, can have a glass of wine/beer and feel great with it – and get that added cardiovascular benefit! Just a reminder – too much of anything is too much. Drinking 6 ounces of wine/beer with dinner versus drinking 30 ounces is a big difference! So watch your portions!
**Mixed drinks have the same effect as we describe above for the various Diet Types. Typically, however, they may have a worse effect on the body, as often juices and mixers with a wide array of chemicals/dyes/preservatives are added. Plain vodka or whiskey, in and of itself, may also show similar cardiovascular benefit in moderation.
Some general tips on avoiding overindulgence when at a party but don’t want to stray too far off your diet course.
1. When you know you are going to a party or gathering, eat something healthy before you go. If you arrive with a growling tummy, you could end up eating twice the amount (or more) than if you had something to tide you over.
2. Before going to a party drink water and take some Vitamin C and E. This will help with the digestion of both food and alcohol.
3. Pick your poison! Pick out the one or two things you really want to treat yourself to. Whether it is a piece of pie, a glass of wine, or some chips and dip, decide before you go what you will let yourself have. When you plan ahead what you will choose it takes some of the thought process away, allowing for better decisions.
4. Fill up on your Diet Type foods first. Otters and Lions should not fill up on vegetables and fruit, but take plenty of the meat dishes. Remember, it is easier for your body to metabolize these foods, and the pieces of pie and cakes are the ones more likely to pack on the pounds! Monkeys and Giraffes however can stick to their golden rule of eating a big salad first. Keep your portions of holiday ham and chip dip in check, as these are likely to make you feel more weighed down and bloated.
Planning is the key to almost everything! By planning ahead you can greatly reduce your stress level which leads to a gamete of positive actions, including eating better. You will have less stress eating episodes and feel better over all. It’s extremely hard to lose weight over the holiday season, but we always say if you can maintain through these months you are a step above most of the population!