Many diabetics might be fearful of drinking alcohol, but an interesting study just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (USA), showed that drinking a little red wine daily could be helpful to improve a diabetic’s cardiovascular health.
The study, by researchers from Israel, Europe, and the US, studied 224 diabetic men and women between the ages of 40 and 75. These participants were randomly divided into three groups. Before the study, most of the participants were not regular users of alcohol.
One group was told to drink just mineral water with their dinners. The second group was told to drink 150cc of white wine with each dinner, and the third group drank red wine instead of white. All groups had their beverages provided to them, and all had medical exams and blood tests at the beginning of the study, and then at one and two years.
The results showed, after 2 years, that both red and white wine drinkers showed better triglyceride levels, and lower morning glucose levels compared with the group that only drank mineral water. However, one additional benefit to the red wine drinkers was that only they also improved their HDL cholesterol levels (“good cholesterol”) by about 10 percent.
The results also showed that wine drinkers had no change in their blood pressure compared with water drinkers, and the wine drinkers reported one other benefit—better sleep. One important note: all the participants otherwise followed a healthy Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fish, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, and olive oil.
If you are a diabetic, you might ask your health professional about adding a little wine—particularly red wine, which contains a much higher level of antioxidant polyphenols than white wine—to your diet would be a good idea. But one thing is clear: the Mediterranean diet is healthy for everyone, diabetic or not.
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