Q: This New Year I'm making a healthier diet and more regular exercise a part of my resolution. Do I have to say goodbye to wine to live a healthier lifestyle? —Judie, Maryland
A: We like to say that there is always room for wine—in moderation, of course. And there is plenty of research that indicates that wine can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle. A review of myriad studies, published this summer, found that moderate wine drinkers have lower mortality rates and healthier hearts, but the biggest takeaway was that moderate drinking with meals delivers maximum health benefits—wine and eating go better together!
Women in particular have been shown to benefit from moderate wine consumption. A 2015 study of nearly 70,000 women over a 20-year period found that those who engaged in six "healthy lifestyle factors," one of which was up to 1 drink per day on average, were significantly more likely to remain healthy over time.
For women of child-bearing age, a study released this summer found that moderate alcohol consumption had no impact on fertility (but that excessive consumption had a negative impact), and another recent study found that women who are affected by polycystic ovary syndrome may find some relief for the condition from the red-wine compound resveratrol.
Men can also benefit from a diet that includes wine. A 30-year study released this summer found that moderate wine drinking may lower the risk of prostate cancer.
Good news for both sexes is that numerous studies have indicated that wine can combat the effects of aging, slowing the decline of good cholesterol levels and reducing weakness, slowness and fatigue in senior citizens.
Wine is not a magic bullet, however, and you should consult your physician about any specific risk factors you may have before making wine a part of your healthy diet.