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Is Red Wine Good for Diabetes? What You Need to Know
Diabetes

Is Red Wine Good for Diabetes? What You Need to Know

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 26
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5 min

People with diabetes might feel tempted to have a glass of wine in the evening. If this is you, it’s important to learn whether this beverage is safe. But don’t worry – we explain if red wine supports diabetes management and provide 3 benefits of drinking it moderately.

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Drinking moderate amounts of red wine is considered to be safe.

Some people like to enjoy this beverage with an evening meal. Others could simply enjoy wine whenever they want, but as with everything, too much of it might be unhealthy in the long term. Even though most types of wine contain minimal fats and sugars, they can still lead to future complications.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you can’t drink it. There are many ways you can consume wine safely without triggering diabetes-related symptoms. You might be wondering – does wine actually have any health benefits, and will it support diabetes management?

In this article, you’ll discover if red wine is good for diabetes.

Is Red Wine Good for Diabetes?

Yes, small portions of red wine could improve blood sugar levels. The low amount of carbs, unhealthy fats, and sugars won’t spike glucose production in people with diabetes. You should only have moderate wine consumption to avoid complications. 

It’s common to think that consuming alcohol is bad for your health. This can be true if you drink too much, but a moderate wine intake is perfectly safe for those with diabetes. Red wine contains ethanol – a chemical compound that can strengthen your glycemic responses.

You could follow a healthy diet while drinking wine moderately. The ketogenic diet is good for diabetes, as you’ll be eating low-carb meals. People who follow this diet plan usually have lower blood sugar levels, which prevents hyperglycemia symptoms like tiredness and headaches.

Since wine is low in carbs, you can drink a glass of red wine every now and then. Just remember that having too many alcoholic beverages can increase blood pressure and the risk of heart disease. Moderate red wine consumption (one glass a day) doesn’t pose any threats.

How Does Red Wine Affect Blood Sugar?

A moderate red wine intake won’t raise your blood sugar levels. It can actually keep hyperglycemia symptoms away for up to 24 hours. This doesn’t mean you should increase your alcohol intake or drink red wine every day to gain health benefits. 

Low blood sugar can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recent studies show that moderate drinking of red wine may raise HDL cholesterol and strengthen glycemic control.

You should always follow a healthy diet to further prevent hyperglycemia. Eating junk food and drinking alcohol regularly may lead to weight gain, coronary artery disease, or high blood pressure. People with alcohol abuse may experience these long-term health risks.

Nutritional Value of Red Wine

A glass of red wine has surprisingly good benefits for managing diabetes. You don’t need much of this beverage, so always follow the recommended amount each day. Men can have two drinks or less a day, and women can have one to maintain strong cardiovascular health. 

Below, you’ll find the nutritional value of red wine per 100g

Net CarbsTotal CarbsFatsProtein 
2.61g2.61g0g0.07g
CaloriesFiberSugarsGlycemic Index
850g0.62g0

Glycemic Index of Red Wine

The glycemic index of red wine is 0, which is good for maintaining blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Anything above 55 on the GI scale is deemed unsafe. Even though the score is low, always monitor your alcohol consumption to regulate blood glucose. 

Beverages with a low GI are usually fine for your diabetes-friendly diet. However, just be aware that some alcohol will raise blood sugar levels. For example, high-carb beers can have a GI of 89, which instantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and insulin resistance. 

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Some people might aim to drink more red wine because of the low glycemic index. This is bad and can put you at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Drinking moderate amounts is the only safe way to enjoy wine while still managing good glycemic control. 

How to Drink Red Wine for Diabetes?

You should have one glass of red wine a day to avoid high alcohol consumption. Of course, you don’t need to have an alcoholic beverage at all, so only consume what’s right for your health.

Studies show that wine contains resveratrol – an antioxidant that helps prevent cardiovascular diseases. You can have small amounts every now and then with a nutrient-dense meal or snack. Remember that moderate alcohol intake is very important for type 2 diabetes.

One thing to note is that moderate alcohol consumption can still increase your heart rate. This might not be good for those who have anxiety and existing heart problems. The higher your heart rate is, the more likely you’ll experience blood pressure spikes after drinking red wine.

3 Benefits of Red Wine for Diabetes

Drinking wine has been known to offer some physical benefits. It could decrease heart disease risks in moderate drinkers, so always keep that in mind when balancing your intake. There are very few studies to suggest these positive changes are long-term when consuming wine. 

Let’s take a look at the 3 potential health benefits of red wine:

#1 Might help to support heart health

Red wine, when drunk in moderation, has heart-related benefits. The antioxidants in wine can reduce oxidative stress and protect nerve cells surrounding your heart. Since this drink may also promote low blood sugar levels, you’ll experience fewer problems with insulin production. 

Polyphenols in red wine might lower the risk of chronic inflammation and blood clotting, which naturally prevents heart disease. This may only benefit those who drink wine in moderate amounts. Going above the recommended limit could actually damage your heart in the future.

Of course, if you want to really strengthen the heart’s natural functions, opt for drinking water instead of alcoholic beverages. Wine is good for occasional treats in the evening, but water lowers blood pressure. It can also prevent alcohol and hypertension-related dehydration

#2 Source of resveratrol

Resveratrol is a type of antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties. This may help people with type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. However, before drinking wine for these benefits, speak to your doctor about the long-term physical effect of moderate drinking. 

Antioxidants in red wine usually improve glucose metabolism and poor pulmonary function. They do this by destroying free radicals that damage your lungs. Strong lung health is very important for removing carbon dioxide from the body and preventing respiratory problems.

#3 Might lower cholesterol

Red wine has been known to reduce low-density lipoprotein (the bad cholesterol) in your body. This may prevent damage to your blood vessels, further lowering the risk of heart disease. If you have too much LDL cholesterol, plaque will build up in artery walls and restrict blood flow.

FAQs

Which wine is best for diabetes?

Red wine has the most benefits when it comes to managing diabetes. It contains the most antioxidants that reduce the risk of diabetic retinopathy – a health condition that damages your eyes. Just remember to moderate your wine consumption to regulate type 2 diabetes.

Can I drink red wine while taking metformin?

Drinking too much alcohol while taking metformin can increase lactic acid in your body. This may damage the heart, lungs, and blood vessels, causing future organ failure. If you want to know if moderate alcohol consumption is safe, consult with a medical professional.

Does red wine help with type 2 diabetes?

Yes, one glass of red wine a day can help those with type 2 diabetes. It doesn’t increase blood sugar levels when consumed in moderate amounts. The health-promoting chemicals may strengthen your heart, especially if you regularly suffer from inflammatory-related problems.

How much red wine should someone with diabetes drink?

Aim to have one glass of wine in a day or less than one drink for people who like to go out on special occasions. You also need to be aware that alcohol could interfere with diabetes medicine. Speak to your doctor about wine consumption and whether it’s safe for your health.

A Word From Our MD

Some people might not believe that red wine actually has benefits. It can be a safe alcoholic beverage for those with type 2 diabetes, as it doesn’t contain lots of carbs, sugars, and fats. One thing to note is that you should always increase your food intake when drinking wine.

Consuming alcohol on an empty stomach will intoxicate you faster. Being drunk promotes the accumulation of acids in your blood and causes serious health risks. This might be future nerve damage and heart diseases, so always eat nutrient-dense food with a glass of wine.

If you have certain health conditions, speak to your doctor about drinking alcohol. They can offer advice about how much to drink and what beverages are the best. It might be worth finding other drinks for diabetes, like coconut milk, apple cider vinegar, or even flavored waters.

Conclusion

So, is red wine good for managing diabetes symptoms?

This type of wine may have numerous potential health benefits. You should only drink it in moderation and consult with your doctor beforehand about alcohol. Wine is a safe alcoholic drink that can lower blood sugar levels, LDL cholesterol, and insulin resistance.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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