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Drinking Wine as Part of a Heart Healthy Diet

Guest blogger, Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer, certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. By adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, she has lost 100 lbs. Her mission is to motivate and inspire people through her actions and words. Get healthy from the inside, out is her motto. Learn more on Vicki’s blog.

Did you know that a glass of wine can be considered part of a healthy lifestyle? For those who live in other parts of the world, a glass of wine is common with meals. Here in the U.S., the problem is binge drinking. But having a glass of wine once in a while is just fine.

Many studies indicate that moderate amounts of red wine lowers the risk of heart disease and may raise high density lipoprotein (HDL), which is known as the “good” cholesterol. Moderate means one glass of wine per day for women and two for men.  The American Heart Association says one serving of wine is four ounces, so be vigilant with your serving size. And women who have the breast cancer gene should avoid alcohol because of its potential to increase risk of the disease.
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Mediterranean Diet Lowers Heart Disease Risk

It’s tough to beat something that you are genetically predisposed to. It’s so sad to see young people who suffer from heart problems, because it runs in the family. But, if you are worried about your heart health because your mom’s or dad’s side of the family has a history of the ailment, there may be hope.

According to a new study, people who eat a Mediterranean diet, even those with a genetic predisposition for heart problems, have better heart function.


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Busting Common Food Myths

With so much information at our fingertips from the news on TV and online, it can be overwhelming to try to distinguish fact from fiction. For example, how many times have you heard or been told that sugars are bad for you? Well, the truth is that not all sugars are bad. But, depending on your source you may have heard a different opinion. Let’s get started and bust six common food myths:

Myth: Eggs cause your cholesterol to rise.

Fact: Our bodies generate and create their own cholesterol, so rarely do we need any help with getting more or less through food and diet. Saturated fat and trans fat are the bad fats that impact our body’s cholesterol levels, leading them to rise above regulated levels. Eggs are rich in vitamins and minerals that are good for you and have a relatively small amount of saturated fat that, when eaten in moderation, should not cause any increase to cholesterol levels. Go ahead and keep eggs in your meals.

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Is Resveratrol Really Reversing the Aging Process?

What is Resveratrol?
red grapesResveratrol is a natural compound found in the skin of grapes (therefore, also in red wine) that is claimed to drastically reduce aging related illnesses, including heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. The claim behind this is that you will live longer and live a healthier life.  Dr. Oz discussed taking resveratrol in supplement form on Oprah raving about how he takes it and how pleased he is with it. This supplement is supposed to make you healthier while helping you lose weight and prolong your life. This supplement is supposedly able to counter the multiple negative effects of a high fat diet.

There are now many resveratrol supplements on the market that contain a very high concentration of resveratrol.  In fact, to receive the amount of resveratrol in these supplements you would have to drink 1,000 bottles of wine a day, which obviously would not be recommended.
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Take a Trip to the Mediterranean

According to new research, a Mediterranean diet may help Alzheimer’s patients live longer. For those of us on the younger side, it’s also great for your heart health.

So what’s all the fuss about the food eaten in this beautiful region of the world?

The Mediterranean diet is loaded with fruits, vegetables, grains and olive oil, and more fish than red meat. That’s not totally alien to what the rest of us think of as a healthy diet.

But wait!

Another staple to the diet is moderate consumption of red wine, which is probably largely responsible for its trendiness.

Regardless of what your motivation may be, here is a rundown as to why it can be such a healthy diet choice:

The core to the healthfulness of the diet is how low it is in saturated fats. There is plenty of fat, but usually in the form of olive oil, nuts and fish, which has the much-touted omega-3 fatty acids.

Now to the wine… having a glass with your dinner has been shown to have health benefits. Red wine contains antioxidants, which can help fight heart disease. A glass (or up to two for men) can also lower cholesterol. New information is coming out that it may even be good for reducing your risk for diabetes.

Of course, this isn’t the only way to eat your way to great health. But if the idea of olive oil, moderate amounts of bread and pasta, with a little wine and lots of fruits and veggies sounds tantalizing to you, then you should explore your options further.