Are you a wine and cheese lover thinking about participating in the wine and cheese day on the 25th July along with our community in the USA? Then is there a way to join in the festivities without compromising your health and nutrition? We have some fun facts and myths to help you navigate the controversial world of cheese and wine consumption.
What you need to know should you dine with some wine?
Red or white? We have all heard that red wine is healthier! This is because red wine is said to contain more resveratrol than white wine as it is fermented with the skins, while white wine is not. Most of the resveratrol in grapes is in the seeds and skin.
In different parts of the world, red wine in particular has been incorporated in daily meals, social, religious and cultural events for many years. But it’s important to note that there is no consistently conclusive research on the material health benefits of red wine. The insights are complex and full of some contradictions as experts on the matter continue to weigh the benefits vs long term negative impacts of consumption. With no official health recommendations, keeping in mind that some of it also depends on an individual's genetic makeup and lifestyle choices.
What are the fast facts on Red wine:
- Although red wine contains resveratrol - a compound that’s marketed as heart-protecting, there is no decisive indication of the correlation between heart health and red wine consumption.
- The studies that have shown the positive impact of red wine are also subject to individual genetic variations, thus not everyone is seen to positively benefit.
- Alongside a healthy lifestyle, only 1 glass of wine per day for females and 2 glasses of wine for males was recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in 2015. Yet, it’s suggested that the physician and patient should discuss alcohol use.
- Some studies have concluded that one bottle of wine per week is associated with an increased absolute lifetime cancer risk for non-smokers of 1% for men and 1.4% for women.
- According to a 2018 study, red wine is said to have antioxidant, lipid regulating and anti-inflammatory effects. These antioxidants are said to reduce oxidative stress in the body.
- Alcohol also affects weight gain, 1/2 glass of wine contains up to 170kcal. This is the equivalent to eating 3 slices of bread, so if you are looking to drop some weight, reducing your wine intake might help reduce calories.
Want to snack or munch on something cheesy?
Like wine, cheese is the most debated food item in the health industry. For many people cheese is an easy accompaniment to meals and snacks, whilst others avoid dairy cheese due to a cow milk allergy or lactose intolerance, or they are on a weight-loss diet, or as part of a strictly plant-based diet.
It's also important to note that not all cheeses are the same, this means they differ in nutritional value and how bodies genetically respond to it. Whether or not it is a healthful choice depends on the individual and the type and amount of cheese consumed. So what are some of the health benefits and watch-outs you can expect?
What are the fast facts on cheese:
- It’s recommended that we should only be consuming about 40g of cheese a day, so a cheese board binge is not encouraged.
- Cheese is regarded as a good source of calcium and phosphorus - important to maintain strong bones and teeth. Calcium also helps with muscles, heart health and nerves.
- It's regarded as a high-quality protein.
- Most cheeses are low in lactose - but people with cow's milk allergy aren’t advised to consume those made from cow’s milk.
- Cheese tends to be high in sodium, calories and saturated fat, low fat cheeses like cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, feta, and goat’s cheese, and low-fat cream cheese should contain less than 15g of fat per 100g serving.
- Non-dairy cheeses, such as soy cheese and daiya, are suitable for people who do not consume dairy products, but they are highly processed.
- Fat-free cheeses are not recommended as a regular part of the diet, even for those looking to reduce calories or fat because of extreme processing.
So the challenge with wine and cheese consumption isn't necessarily the eating and drinking itself, it's how much of them people tend to consume in one sitting that may affect your health. Along with how your genetic profile reacts to wine and cheese, you need to embrace the ‘everything in moderation’ as the top tip worth following. If you're still unsure about your genetic response to wine and cheese, you can easily get a kit here.