Why Do Reds Get All the Glory? White Wine Has Health Benefits, Too

Warning: This article will make you want a glass of wine. But the best part is there's little reason to feel too guilty about that. (As long as you're of legal drinking age; don't get us in trouble here.) While red wine has long been the favored varietal in terms of heart health, studies show we shouldn't be counting white wine out entirely. Cheers to that!

A Cabernet a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Maybe you've heard of the French paradox: Why do heart attack rates appear lower than expected in France when the French eat so much saturated fat and cholesterol? This has been partially attributed to the fact that Frenchies love red wine.

While we know that the moderate consumption of alcohol (we said moderate, frat boys) has its health benefits, a 1993 study suggests the non-alcohol stuff in red wine is hard at work, too. Moderate red wine consumption has also been shown to help prevent heart attacks, increase the amount of HDL "good" cholesterol, and decrease the chances of blood clotting. The stuff also has anti-inflammatory properties, and flavonoids — the antioxidant found in red wine — can help protect against cancer.

Long Live the Lungs

Good news, pinot grigio lovers. While red wine typically gets all the glory, studies show we shouldn't be so scrupulous with which bottle we're pouring into our glasses. White wine has been shown to provide significant health benefits too. Nice!

In a 2015 study, researchers found that white wine can provide heart- and metabolism-related improvements (so can red wine, by the way). White wine can also help improve cholesterol levels just as much as red wine can, according to a 2014 study.

But here is where, finally, white wine has the edge over red wine. Research from the University of Buffalo conducted in 2002 suggests that drinking white wine ― more so than red ― can help keep your lungs healthy. "This finding may indicate that nutrients in wine are responsible for the positive effect of alcoholic beverages on lung function," said Holger Schunemann, a University of Buffalo professor and study author. "Red wine in moderation has been shown to be beneficial for the heart, but in this case, the relationship was stronger for white wine."

But wait, there's more! According to a 1999 study from the University of Barcelona, white wines may have a higher antioxidant capacity than red wines. Rub that in those Merlot lovers' faces, sauvignon blancsters.

At this point, we must remind you to always drink in moderation. And although white wine takes the win from red wine in terms of keeping lungs healthy, whites typically have more sugar than reds. Jury's out on the effects of meteorite wine, though.

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Written by Joanie Faletto October 26, 2017

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