Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Nice Glass of Wine - or is it?

I haven't thought much about drinking alcohol recently because I have just not done it.

But, last night I was in Columbia, Md. having dinner with my client and several members of his staff. They know my eating style and are very nice about accommodating. In fact, my client has prepared special meals for me when I dine at his home. He is Italian and a wonderful cook. Our all day meeting was at a very nice restaurant near their office. We had lunch before our meeting and dinner after. For lunch I had a great salad and some Gazpacho. For dinner I had another salad with some pasta and marinara sauce, which was very nice. The sauce didn't taste either salty or too oily. It wasn't perfect, but not bad.

My client loves wine and he asked me to help him pick out a nice bottle. I know nothing about wine, but we collaborated anyhow and picked out a bottle of red wine from NAPA valley. I decided to drink one glass to humor my client since I didn't think one glass occasionally was any big deal. Wine is known for its health benefits.

When I returned home, I was thinking about the wine ( I really enjoyed it) and did a search for 'alcohol' on Dr. Fuhrman's DiseaseProof blog. This is a great blog that has articles and viewer comments on many very interesting health and nutrition topics. I came across an article about alcohol taken from Eat for Health, Dr. Fuhrman's flagship book. In sum, the good doctor says that it is best to stay away from alcohol. Although one drink occasionally isn't any big deal, regular moderate drinkers open up health risks for themselves and the impact of even a little alcohol is to stimulate the appetite, leading possibly to overeating. Those on the standard American diet get some heart disease protection from the ingredients in red wine. But there are health tradoffs. Even moderate alcohol contributes to weight gain and possibly other health problems. Those on an excellent diet do not need the blood thinning benefits since their overall diet gives them plenty of heart health and stroke protection. Thinning the blood further for those on a very healthy diet, is not a good idea. See Dr. Fuhrman's full article here.

Although I did enjoy the wine while I was drinking it, I had a bit of a low feeling upon waking the next morning and I could tell that my appetite was stimulated more than usual, both during the evening meal and the next morning.

So, I probably will abstain in the future and be a boring (and healthy) 'teetotaler.'


kneecap said...

I haven't had wine since I was in Portugal, about 3 months ago. There I had a glass of port which was really good. I also had a glass of wine on another night of that trip which was so-so. I had the same effects as you, felt tired the next day. So I've lost interest in it but if I'm ever in Portugal again I might have a glass of port. That was good.

Howard Veit said...

Occasionally, for a special treat, and to be sociable, it is probably okay. I guess the issue that would most keep me away from alcohol is its negative impact on heart rhythms. With my chronic (until recently) arrhythmia I'll do nothing to tempt the irregular heartbeats to come back. Dr. Fuhrman says that even moderate drinking may contribute to Atrial Fibrillation. I haven't checked the research, but that would be enough to keep me on the wagon forever.

kneecap said...

I would agree with that. There are plenty of other enjoyable things to do besides drink even a good glass of wine.