Optional Wine Intake
Moderate alcohol consumption has been shown to decrease risk of heart disease in men and women. Moderate consumption is defined as one glass of wine for women per day and two glasses of wine per day for men.
Resveratrol, a flavonoid, is thought to be the active substance in wine that provides the health benefits. Recent research indicates it is possible that the same benefits can be achieved through grape juice consumption. However, the jury is still out on the topic.
Encouraging wine consumption is a very controversial topic. The two key factors to keep in mind are that moderation is of utmost importantance, and some people just cannot and should not drink alcoholic beverages. This includes pregnant and nursing women, recovering alcoholics, and individuals who are driving. It is up to each individual to balance the risk and the reward for consuming wine.
The peoples of the Mediterranean have enjoyed wine with their meals for centuries. Moderate wine intake is not only part of the traditional family meal, wine has an important role in the cultural and religious beliefs of the people. The wine consumed is generally locally produced red wine. Wine is the only alcoholic beverage listed. Some Mediterranean regions, namely the Islamic populations, prohibit alcohol consumption.
It is important to mention that some people are at risk when consuming alcohol. These individuals should not drink at all.