Stump the Savvy Sugar Sleuths: Should Someone Who's Kicking Sugar Quit Wine At the Same Time?
Posted Dec 18 2008 8:13pm
It's been a while since I've posted one of these because I've been writing so much about the plethora of recent news events. So here's a "Stump the Savvy Sugar Sleuth" item. Here's a question I received:
"Connie, I have a question for you as the sugar guru.I know that wine is essentially a sugar, but how important in your opinion, is kicking the wine habit (2-4 glasses a week) when trying to eliminate sugar?
"Also do you know if white wine has more or less sugar than red? My client actually finds when she drinks wine with dinner, her cravings for sugar after the meal are diminished. Does wine affect our blood sugar levels as much as processed foods?Julie"
Good question! I'll give you a quick answer now, but I'd also like to consult with an expert or two on this, too. I think red wine has less sugar than white, and I believe it also has some anti-oxidant properties.
Off the top of my head (and bear in mind that I'm on very tight deadlines this week), I'd vote for letting your client continue with wine for now since it gives her so much pleasure and perhaps let her ease off of it.
I'm just not a fan of telling someone to quit drinking wine -- that is, unless they really have to. (Alas, I'm in the camp, given that I get horrific hypoglycemic hangovers if I have wine.)
Having said that, I wonder why she wants to quit sugar. Is it to lose weight? To be more focused? To be in better spirits? If it's any of the three, then cutting out wine really could benefit her.
On the other hand, if such a drastic move is unappealing to her (which it sounds like it is), I'd just invite her to consider maybe drinking a little less -- perhaps half a glass of wine instead of a full glass at a time -- and to really, really savor it.
Also, PLEASE urge her not to drink the wine by itself but rather with a meal. If she eats protein, healthy veggies, and healthy carbs like veggies at the same time, then she won't be bouncing her blood sugar levels around so much.
So I vote for letting her continue to drink a little red wine. (Tell her to enjoy it for me, too, since I'm bummed that I can't have any! -- I'll just feel too sick.)
As you'll see now, two experts I consutled weighed in with two very differing recommendations.
Fred Pescatore, M.D. replied:
"Of course her cravings are diminsihed as she is drinking sugar. When you consume alcohol, the body preferentially uses that as energy before it will utilize anything else so they are dead calories just like a Snickers bar"
Dr. Pescatore also made the point that wine drinkers erroneously think that alcohol is "really nothing." He then suggests that your client should "give up wine entirely."
Meanwhile, Nancy Appleton, Ph.D., author Lick the Sugar Habit, takes a stance closer to mine.
"There is enough evidence to show that a glass of wine a day is not bad. A candy bar a day is bad. Supposedly research shows that .Red is better than whiite. Who knows? Nancy"
Julie, I hope this helps you and your client, and I'm rooting for her to take control of her sugar habit. By the way, she's more than welcome to join my free online, KickSugar group, too.