Wine Consumption: The Pros and the Cons


Drinking Wine

Should you or shouldn’t you?

The Plusses to Drinking Wine:

  • 1-2 glasses of wine per day appear to reduce stress and the effects of chronic inflammation.
  • Red wine contains polyphenols and this can be helpful to combat arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • When you drink wine with a meal it makes the meal seem like a special occasion and thus you may eat more slowly (which enhances digestion)
  • It is a better choice than sugary mixed drinks because these mixed drinks contain more sugar and thus spikes insulin.
  • Wine drinkers tend to sip rather than guzzle their beverage which means fewer intakes of alcohol, sugar and calories.
  • A moderate amount which is equivalent to 5 oz. per day has been shown to lower your risk of heart disease.
  • Moderate amounts of red wine (1-3 glasses per day, 3-4 times per week) may reduce your risk of dementia, depression, and some cancers.
  • Good News for you white wine drinkers!  White wine has been shown to have many of the same positive health benefits as red wine.

Downside to Drinking Wine

  • If you drink alcohol in excessive amounts it can increase your risk for breast cancer, cause brain damage and damage to the liver and other organs
  • Red wine does contain the antioxidant resveratrol that is found in the skin of grapes.  Resveratrol is good for fighting inflammation, heart disease, blood clotting, and cancer.  However the amount of resveratrol in wine is very low and to get the benefits of this powerful antioxidant, you would need to consume several bottles-not a good idea!  Add purple and black grapes to your diet and supplement with resveratrol for heart disease instead.
  • Those who consume more than 5 oz. of red wine per day have a greater risk of heart disease.  Other studies show that 1-2 glasses of red wine per day can also lower your risk of stroke but more than this amount can increase your risk.
  • When you start to go beyond moderate amounts of wine, the negative effects outweigh the benefits-for those who drink 2-3 glasses of red wine every day they have increased risk of liver disease, depression, weight gain and diabetes.
  • Wines are still mostly empty calories that you may consume instead of healthy food choices so be cognizant if wine is replacing food in your diet.
  • A glass of red wine (5 oz.) contains on average 125 calories.  So if you are consuming say 2 glasses 4 times per week that is 1,000 added calories per week.  It can easily cause the weight to creep on.

Bottom line

Articles reviewed vary but the consensus seems to be 1-3 glasses of wine per day for 4-5 days per week is considered a moderate, healthy amount to consume to reap benefits.

This is not meant to encourage you to drink up!  In fact, you can reap many of these health benefits from food alone.  But if you already drink wine, it may be good to know that staying in the moderate range can be supportive for your body.  This means not consuming wine every day but having 2 days off from drinking.

If you add in other alcoholic beverages then you go from moderate drinking to excessive drinking.  Please be mindful of the amount you consume and it is best to avoid it (even if it does have health benefits) if you have had issues with alcohol in the past.

Final Thought

While I do not imbibe personally (I have the alcohol flush gene on both sides which explains why I have never enjoyed the effects nor taste of alcohol) I have read about the quality and purity of wines.  What I did not realize is that many are filled with contaminants just like a processed food would be.  So do your homework before purchasing.

I recently came across a site which does purity testing and has no sugar in its wines.  Check it out for more information on why the quality of your wine is important.



Carson, T. (10/18/13) The Health Benefits of White Wine.   the-health-benefits-of-white-wine.

Bjarnadottir, A. (nd) Red wine: Good or Bad?

Truesdale, L. (8/16) 9 Secrets to Long Life.


Karen Brennan, MSW, CNC, Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition (candidate), author of the E book Tru Foods Depression Free Nutrition Guide; How Food Supplements and herbs can be used to lift your mood and owner of Tru Foods Nutrition Services, LLC believes in food first when addressing the root causes to your health conditions.  For more information, visit her website at

This information is meant for educational purposes only.

Tru Foods Nutrition
Nutrition Consultant at Tru Foods Nutrition Services LLC
I am a nutrition professional with a focus on mental health and gut health. I am also passionate about getting nutrition information out to the public so that others can take charge of their own health instead of living on meds. I help others who have tried the medical route and who are often are worse off because of it. Nutrition therapy has an individized approach and addresses root causes.