Best Red Wine for Diabetics
Type two diabetes is on the rise in North America and the Western diet is certainly a factor. People with this affliction must be careful to watch what they consume and monitor their sugar intake. However, red wine consumption has demonstrated many positive health effects. Does this mean type 2 diabetics can enjoy a glass of wine regularly? The answer is a resounding YES!
Can Diabetics Drink Red Wine?
Red wine and diabetes; you would not think the two were a healthy combination. Think again! There is substantial evidence to support that regular consumption of red wine can be a good thing for a diabetic.
Red Wine at Meal Time
Red wine is often popular to consume with meals especially in the Italian culture where it is pretty much a staple at the dinner table. My in-laws are Italian and my father-in-law makes his own wine so there is wine at dinner every day at their house. One might think that this is too much alcohol consumption but the fact is - red wine can be healthy.
Alcohol and Sugar
Alcohol in general has the reputation of being very high in sugar and therefore moderation is key. However red wines, specifically dry red wines, are very low in sugar content, and it has been discovered that red wine might actually be beneficial to those who suffer from diabetes.
Red Wine and Diabetic Health
There is some recent research that suggests drinking dry red wine in moderation could be a therapeutic supplement to diabetics who are taking medication. Further research is ongoing but a review of current literature suggests that it is definitely worth further investigation (Hausenblas, Schoulda & Smoliga, 2015).
What is Diabetes?
There are two types of Diabetes; Diabetes type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is a condition where the pancreas does not produce any insulin whereas in type 2 the pancreas still produces insulin but there is a malfunction.
This malfunction has a genetic component but the risk factors are a poor diet that includes a high intake of fat and carbohydrates combined with a sedentary lifestyle. High intake of alcohol is also a risk factor.
The body needs energy to function much like gasoline powers your car. If you don't replenish the gas in your car - you aren't going anywhere are you? The body functions in much the same way; we must fuel our bodies with the proper foods.
We produce glucose from the foods we eat. Glucose is our source of energy much like the gasoline in the car. In order to use this glucose for energy the body needs insulin which is a hormone that controls the level of glucose in your bloodstream.
In diabetes the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin or your body is not able to use the produced insulin properly. When this occurs there is a build up of sugar in your bloodstream because it is not being used for energy.
This build up of glucose, if left unchecked, can lead to very serious health problems. Diabetes is a serious disorder and if not controlled properly it can lead to conditions such as heart disease, blindness, kidney and nerve damage.
To Wine or not to Wine
Do you enjoy red wine?
Red Wine Consumption is Heart Healthy
Red Wine and Diabetes
What's New in Research
The healthy active agent in red wine is called resveratrol. It is a chemical found in the skins of grapes that has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease. It is also an anti-inflammatory agent, and resveratrol has actually lowered blood glucose levels in studies with diabetic rats (Science Letter, 2008).
As previously mentioned, a recent literature review has revealed the possibility of red wine as a complementary therapy to those who are currently being treated for type 2 diabetes (Hausenblas et al, 2015).
In addition, another promising area of research has revealed that the moderate consumption of red wine throughout ones life can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. This was found to be particularly true for those who were overweight (Fagherazzi, Vilier, Lajous, Boutron-Ruault & Balkau et al., 2014)
More research in this area is continuing but this certainly is encouraging for type 2 diabetics who would like to enjoy some red wine now and again.
Did You Know?
Dry Red Wines have a low to no sugar content.
Grapes are a Healthy Food
Dry Red Wine
Best for Health
Generally speaking red wine has little sugar content. Dry red wines are the best choices for diabetics or anyone who is concerned about their health and sugar intake.
What constitutes a "dry" wine? Any wine that contains between 0 and 1.3 percent sugar is considered dry. You will not usually see this on the label but generally all red wines that are not considered a dessert, sweet or fruity wine have this lower level of sugar content.
A basic rule of thumb is that the higher the alcohol percentage the lower the sugar content. This is because the sugar gets converted to alcohol during fermenting. The sugar left behind after fermenting produces the sweetness in the wine.
Popular types of Dry Red Wines: The Low to No Sugar Wine
There are many types of red wines to choose from when you are considering your sugar intake. Everyone, not just diabetics, should care about how much sugar they are ingesting as many wines are very high in sugar. The wine types listed below are a sample of the healthier choices in wines.
A medium to light bodied wine that is becoming very popular.
One of the most popular and best selling wines in the U.S. with a full bodied taste.
A softer, fruitier wine than the Cabernet Sauvignon.
A dark fruit wine commonly referred to as "the black wine".
This wine can have many different flavours from hearty and full to delicately light.
Wonderful fruit flavours with a touch of spice.
Shiraz and Syrah are the same grapes just grown in different regions. Shiraz is from Australia and Syrah is from France.
Recommended Red Wine Brands for Diabetics
There are many brands of red wine that can be enjoyed by diabetics and beneficial for your health. Most table wines will be okay as far as sugar content goes but taste and price is also a factor.
We still want to enjoy our red wine and not have to break the bank! Here is list of recommended brands from those who are closely watching their sugar intake:
- Sterling Vintner's Pinot Noir
- Yellow Tail Cabernet Sauvignon
- Black Opal Cabernet Merlot
- Vin de Pays d'Oc Syrah
- Hardy's Shiraz
Sweet and Dessert Red Wines
Diabetics Should Avoid!
Red dessert wines contain a high amount of sugar and are best avoided altogether or at least consumed infrequently. Sweet red wines can contain anywhere from 3 percent to a whopping 28 percent of residual sugars!
Below is a list of popular types of high sugar content red wines and these are best avoided by diabetics:
- Ice wine
- Beaujolais Nouveau
- Sparkling wines
The higher the alcohol content of red wine the lower the sugar content.
Diabetes and Red Wine: Resources Online
More Information Online: Red Wine and Diabetes
- Red Wine Rivals Diabetes Drug in Lab Tests | Health News | News & Features | Wine Spectator
Researchers working in biotechnology laboratories in Vienna have found that red wine contains favorable levels of a chemical currently used to treat type 2 diabetes patients.
- Red Wine, Tea, May Help Regulate Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetics, Research Suggests
Red wine has been shown to protect people from heart disease, and now, researchers have shown that these beverages may hold promise for regulating the blood sugar of people with type 2 diabetes.
- Diabetes: Red Wine or a Pill? You choose.
Can red wine replace conventional treatment of Diabetes Type 2?
Red Wine Benefits in the News
Fagherazzi, G., Vilier, A., Lajous, M., Boutron-Ruault, M., Balkau, B., Clavel-Chapelon, F., & Bonnet, F. (2014). Wine consumption throughout life is inversely associated with type 2 diabetes risk, but only in overweight individuals: Results from a large female French cohort study. European Journal of Epidemiology, 29(11), 831-839. doi:10.1007/s10654-014-9955-7
Hausenblas, H. A., Schoulda, J. A., & Smoliga, J. M. (2014). Resveratrol treatment as an adjunct to pharmacological management in type 2 diabetes mellitus-systematic review and meta-analysis. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, 59(1), 147-159. doi:10.1002/mnfr.201400173
Understanding Red Wine's Potential Benefit for Diabetes. (2008, May 13). Science Letter, 3842. Retrieved from http://www.newsrx.com.library.sheridanc.on.ca/newsletters/Science-Letter.html
© 2013 Sharon Bellissimo