Beer, Cider, Wine, & Spirits Alcoholic Drinks Affect Body-Fat Differently:
One of the easiest ways to bring a new benefit into your life is to try to make it a habit.
An even better way to do that is to pair it, or make it relative to a routine or habit you already have.
So one of the best ways we can improve our health is to change the habit of eating we all do several times each day.
Even good ole’ Hippocrates said, “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
Although there is still some debate about the entire class of beverages that encompasses it,
Scientific study continues to find more health benefits from wine, and the recent Iowa State work is no exception…
The Short Answer:
- Eating is a habit that we can all use to improve our lives with better choices.
- If you’re going to drink, it looks like red wine is still the best choice; and it goes with dinner!
- It already has a ton of health benefits to its credit.
- 1900 UK adults were surveyed on food & beverage intake, then had their body-fat measured.
- People who drank beer, cider, or spirits had higher levels of dangerous visceral fat.
- Subjects who drank wine did not have higher visceral fat.
- And the ones who drank red wine had lower visceral fat on average.
- White wine drinkers had higher bone-density for some weird reason.
- High visceral fat levels and obesity are associated with a lot of health problems.
- This is a big concern, because 40% of the US population is obese and another 35% are considered overweight.
- Some disagreements between studies still exist and other associations can be researched.
- But it looks like because of all the beneficial microbes & biochemicals wine, particularly red, might be healthier than beer, cider, or spirits.
Read on to find out the details…
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So to review, some of the health benefits attributed to red wine are as follows:
1) Lowers “bad” LDL cholesterol
2) Reduces free-radical damage, even at the extra-cellular level
3) Improves cardiovascular health
4) Helps regulate blood-sugar
5) Possibly impedes some cancers
6) May help prevent formation of Alzheimer’s plaques
7) Keeps you slim via the phenolic compound piceatannol
8) Reduces depression by inhibiting the PDE4 enzyme
9) Vastly improves gut microbe diversity
Ok, I’m sold! Off to the liquor store and a night of drinking!
So that’s a lot, but !SCIENCE! is still out there, trying to find even more benefits from the best food & drink we consume.
Perhaps more importantly, it’s also trying to find & remind us of all the things we probably should taper-off of or just avoid entirely.
You don’t get to freebase some Ultra-Processed Foods just because you did a shot of Malbec 30 minutes ago.
But for now, another champion of European & Mediterranean diet studies is getting another feather in its cap.
And it’s beating both beer, cider & spirits again.
In a set of some pretty rigorous work, Brittany Larsen’s team did some real digging on an important health problem and its relation to alcohol consumption.
In a trial of about 1900 adults between about 40 & 80 years old from the UK Biobank,
The participants were asked for nutritional, lifestyle, and alcohol-consumption info via surveys.
Then, unlike basically every nutritional study out there, the team went on to collect height & weight data, and even blood-samples.
But that still wasn’t good enough.
They collected even more data on body-composition, ie: total % body-fat, using one of the most accurate measuring techniques available that works using x-rays.
After that, they were able to look at the relationship between alcohol-consumption and how overweight or obese the subject were, based on drink of choice.
Here’s what they found.
Drinking beer, cider, or spirits was associated with high levels of visceral-fat, the stuff between and around your organs.
It’s also the most dangerous type of body-fat you can have.
The list of problems it’s associated with contains at least the following:
1) Cardiovascular disease
2) Metabolic syndrome
However, drinking wine was not correlated with higher levels of visceral-fat.
In fact, the consumption of red wine was correlated with lower levels of that fat.
The consumption of white wine was also associated with higher bone-density, whereas red wine & beer had no association with it at all.
The problem with visceral-fat and obesity is because of all the inflammation and overheating it causes,
It’s associated with all kinds of diseases, like
1) Inflammation-related disease from excess hormones
2) Cardiovascular-disease from excess fats being released into the bloodstream
3) Endocrine disease from excess fat damping receptor-sites
4) Malfunctioning of internal-organs due to overheating from surrounding fat
5) Possibly some cancers
In fact, people who are obese statistically live 13 years less than the average adult of healthy weight & body-fat levels.
One of the reasons people should worry so much is that about 40% of the US population is considered obese,
And when you add that together with the overweight component, the number jumps closer to 75%.
Even though there is some disagreement, and even conflicting evidence between studies that say beer & spirits might tend more toward “empty calories”,
It’s still good to have another data-point on something that may be a habit for a lot of people.
Now perhaps the next step is for Brittany Larsen’s team to find out if all this is just correlation related to alcohol-type for some weird outside reason like average diet quality, average daily calories, average glycemic index/load, etc.
Or if the fast-carbs, alcohol, typical amounts consumed, gut microbes introduced, and resveratrol really are the difference between beer drinkers picking up significantly more fat than wine drinkers.