For centuries, wine has been the world’s drink of choice, with roughly 75% of adults drinking it regularly. A social drink, wine is the perfect tipple for various special and casual occasions and has numerous tastes and price points available to suit just about everyone.
Health Benefits of Wine: How Much Sugar Is in There?
For centuries, wine has been the world’s drink of choice, with roughly 75% of adults drinking it regularly. A social drink, wine is the perfect tipple for various special and casual occasions and has numerous tastes and price points available to suit just about everyone. Not only that, wine has undergone studies over recent years showing that pouring yourself a glass of wine to enjoy with friends has many surprising health benefits. However, with the current focus on wellness, the amount of wine in sugar has also been a widespread debate. In this article, we explore wine's sugar content and which type has the highest amount, as well as five incredible health benefits.
Is there sugar in wine?
Wine is typically made from grapes that contain natural sugars thanks to their high glucose and fructose content. In order to make wine, these grapes are fermented, causing the sugars to be broken down into alcohol through the addition of cultured yeasts. As it does so, the sugars are converted into ethanol and carbon dioxide, resulting in alcohol. Any sugars that aren't broken are left as residual sugar. However, certain winemakers also add in additional sugars after the fermentation process for a sweeter taste or when under-ripe grapes are used to enable the yeast to produce more alcohol - a process called chaptalization that increases alcohol by volume, (ABV).
Which wine has the most sugar?
The wine typically tends to hold less sugar than grapes, and dry variations have the least sugar with less than 10 grams, or one percent sugar content per liter. This is due to a longer fermentation process and the yeast having already eaten the naturally occurring sugar in the grapes. If you are a wine lover looking to stock up for the season but want to watch your sugar intake, purchasing a case of wine with your favorite dry varieties to consume in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle is a great way to go.
Whites, reds, and dessert wines all have varying quantities, and the higher the sugar, the lower the alcohol content, with one glass of wine containing anything from 1 to 8 grams of sugar.
Red wine is made using dark grapes with the skins left on during fermentation, creating a rich, red colour. In general, it has the lowest sugar content among any other wine with under one gram of sugar per glass. Moreover, it has many health benefits as its rich in antioxidants and polyphenols.
One of the most accessible wines, white wine tends to be lighter and sweeter than its red counterpart. Made from white grapes, the skins are removed before fermentation, meaning that it contains fewer antioxidants, calories, and has a lower alcohol content. An average glass of white contains between 1 and 1.5 grams of sugar, which is 64% more than red. However, while a glass of white contains more sugar than red, it is still well below the recommended intake.
Given the name, it's not surprising that dessert wines contain the most amount of sugar. Port, for example, has 100 grams of residual sugar alone. Additionally, a Moscato includes a staggering 100-200 grams of sugar per liter and should be avoided by anyone who wants to restrict their sugar consumption. Just like dessert itself!
Health Benefits of wine
While some wines have more sugar than others, many are naturally low in sugar, and by educating yourself, you will have the knowledge to make the right choice for you. Wine, when consumed in moderation, also has many health benefits. Let’s explore some of them below -
It promotes heart health
There is now a well-known link between red wine and healthy heart benefits. Research has shown that indulging in a glass of red wine a day can prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lower artery-damaging cholesterol. Red wine is rich in antioxidants - the substances that protect your cells against potentially harmful free radicals that promote heart disease and cancer. An example of this is resveratrol, which has recently gained attention for its health benefits, such as improving heart, bone, and brain function. Polyphenols are also present in red wine and can help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart, preventing the formation of any unwanted clotting that could lead to heart attacks.
It can improve your skin
We're often told that alcohol damages our skin, but wine can actually improve its health. Thanks to high levels of antioxidants that can help fight aging by restoring elastic fibers and collagen. When consumed in moderation, wine can stimulate blood circulation, prevent skin aging, fine lines, and wrinkles, and boost sagging skin. Not only that, when applied directly onto the skin, it can also prevent the growth of acne-causing bacteria keeping the complexion looking clear and glowing.
It can prevent Alzheimer's
The total number of people with Alzheimer's is growing fast, with approximately 44 million living with the debilitating illness worldwide. While there still isn't a cure, drinking wine could contribute to its prevention, reducing the risk of getting dementia, a disorder of the brain's mental processes, which typically results in Alzheimer's. Resveratol, the antioxidant found in wine, aids in keeping the blood vessels open and allows oxygen to move to the brain, keeping it functioning and preventing blockages.
It protects your pearly whites
While it is often said that red wine can cause discoloration, grape seed extract, polyphenols, and wine can protect your pearly whites by slowing down the growth of plaque bacteria that can cause cavities and tooth decay. Even though wine can increase your body's natural defenses against potential oral diseases, it is essential to remember that it shouldn't replace dental hygiene, including daily flossing, brushing, and visits to the dentist.
The fact of the matter is - sugar is essential in turning grapes into the tasty drink favored by millions of people globally. Without it, wine literally wouldn't exist - but that doesn't mean it is something to be feared, even if you watch your sugar intake.
Unlike many processed drinks, the sugars found in wine naturally occur and come from the grapes themselves. While it is true that some winemakers add extra sugar to increase sweetness and produce more volume in alcohol, many don’t, with red and dry wines having the lowest levels, followed by white.
Even with sugar in the mix, there is no denying the many benefits of wine when consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy lifestyle. These include protection against Alzheimer's, keeping the heart healthy, improving the skin, and being rich in antioxidants, meaning you can enjoy your next glass of wine without any guilt.
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