When drinking, red wine is often seen as the healthier and more fashionable choice. Studies have shown that drinking red wine – in moderation – can help prevent heart disease as it contains antioxidants from powerful plant compounds, in particular proanthocyanidins and resveratrol.
As anyone who has encountered the countless aisles filled to the brim with different red wines at the local bottle shop knowns, there are many different types of red wine. They vary and taste and colour with common varieties including Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The alcohol content of these usually ranges from 12-15%.
While red wine contains good things like antioxidants, it’s important to remember that it is, like all alcohol, very high in calories. Considering the food we tend to eat alongside red wine: pizza, cheeses and steak, it is hardly the healthy alternative. Overindulging in too much wine can lead to inactivity and fat cravings the next day.
There is a happy alternative for those who love the taste of red wine but don’t want to incur the calorie hit: try alcohol free. If you were to drink alcohol free with healthier style pizzas (such as ‘roasted asparagus with mushroom and onion’, ‘white pizzas with walnuts, pears and figs’) or consuming with fruit and vegetables you are receiving the antioxidant content with less calorie content. Research suggests the antioxidants last longer in the blood plasma without the presence of alcohol.
If alcohol free is not an option for you, remember to drink in moderation and you are not doing any major harm.
‘Red wine good or bad’ Authority nutrition, April 2016
‘Study red wine is healthier when it’s not alcoholic sorry’ The Atlantic, September 2012
‘The red wine myth’ Blackmores, May 2010