PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROCKIE NOLAN.
We’ve heard plenty about the (often exaggerated) benefits of red wine. It seems like there’s a new study on the subject every day, in fact. But today’s new research suggests that white wine — red’s neglected sister — may share at least one of red wine’s legit health perks, reports The Washington Post.
In a study published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers randomly assigned 224 people with Type 2 diabetes (who didn’t drink alcohol before the study) to either drink red wine, white wine, or water with dinner for two years. Everyone had to stay on a strict Mediterranean diet throughout the experiment. The researchers kept track of various markers of health as well as how quickly participants metabolized the alcohol.
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The team found that, as you may have expected, red wine drinkers saw the most striking improvements in things like cholesterol levels and certain indicators of their control of lipids and glucose. But those who drank white wine also showed improvements in their heart- and metabolism-related markers — just not to the same degree. And, in both wine-drinking groups, people who naturally processed alcohol more slowly saw greater benefits.
Of course, it’s important to remember that the participants here were sticking to that classic buzzkill: moderation. And that doesn’t always mean what we think it does. For women, theNational Institutes of Health recommends no more than a single drink per day (sigh).
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And while most alcohol-related hype has focused on red wine, actual research hasn’t always been so selective. In fact, many studies used to proclaim the health benefits of red wine don't differentiate between types of alcohol at all. So while it might seem like common sense to expect that different drinks would affect us differently, there isn’t a clear winner yet in the long-term.
So, we’ll take this study as our cue to stop feeling like white wine is a “guilty pleasure” — which, as a concept, doesn’t make much sense anyways. We’ll just be over here waiting for the rosé follow-up.
By Sarah Jacoby