This is very interesting! My wife loves Mediterranean food (well, and the area!) and this guide certainly suggests that the food is awesome for our health! Check out the details from The Atlantic:
Study Confirms the Health Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet
Pivotal research in the New England Journal of Medicine today confirmed well-worn notions that the Mediterranean diet — including produce, olive oil, nuts, etc. – significantly reduced rates of heart attacks and strokes, as compared to a low-fat diet. Now, to make these foods as accessible as corn sugar
When research has to be stopped because it would be “unethical to continue,” it suggests one of a few polarizing scenarios. In this case, it’s because the study found something that was clearly good. So good that after five years of watching trends in heart disease and strokes among people at high risk, the researchers could not in good conscience continue to recommend a “low-fat diet” to anyone.
On the island of Ikaria, in Greece, there are more centenarians than you can shake a stick at. In Loma Linda, California, the Adventist community has a lifespan that’s five to seven years longer than the average American’s. These are people who eat a Mediterranean diet, and we’ve long inferred correlations between that and their prosperity and longevity. But we haven’t had solid research to show us how important their diet — as opposed to other factors genetic, lifestyle, and social — actually is.
That’s why today’s study in the New England Journal of Medicine is particularly important.
As Dr. Steven E. Nissen, chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, told Gina Kolata at The New York Times, the study “says you can eat a nicely balanced diet with fruits and vegetables and olive oil and lower heart disease by 30 percent … And you can actually enjoy life.”
So, enjoy life, if that’s what it means to you.
Of course, utilizing this knowledge doesn’t just mean educating people about diet choices, but also making these foods accessible. That would necessarily involve reassessing and prioritizing how the U.S. subsidizes agriculture. You don’t need to eat a ton of any one these items to see the benefits of the diet, so making them more common in U.S. culture is not at all inconceivable.
Here’s how the study defined and broke down the diets it tested:
Recommended in Mediterranean diet
Discouraged in Mediterranean diet
Recommended in low-fat diet
Discouraged in low-fat diet
Sofrito is “a sauce made with tomato and onion, often including garlic and aromatic herbs, and slowly simmered with olive oil.”
I note the wine as a point of interest because a lot of people ask me how much they should drink. But no one element of these diets clearly shouldered an undue share of the glory or burden. I take this as a check in the “good” column for alcohol, among the thousands of studies that look more specifically at its goods and bads.
I enjoy a good glass of wine, and the best way to really enjoy it is to have it paired correctly with food. Here are some great tips from WineFolly:
5 Tips to Perfect Food and Wine Pairing
Want a Wine Pairing Chart? Buy it
5 Wine & Food Pairing Guidelines
Champion the Wine
The number one guideline is to bring out the best characteristics of a wine. A high tannin red wine will taste like sweet cherries when paired with the right dish. Focus on the characteristics that you want to champion and make sure that the wine will shine instead of fighting against the food.
Bitter + Bitter = Bad
Since our tastebuds are very sensitive to bitterness, it’s important to pay special attention to not pair bitter food and high tannin wine. Green Beans with Cabernet Sauvignon will multiply bitter tastes. If you want to pair a high tannin wine, look to foods with fat, umami and salt for balance.
Wine Should be Sweeter
As a general rule, make sure that the wine is sweeter than the food and you will have a successful wine pairing. If the wine is less sweet than the food it’s matched with, it will tend to taste bitter and tart. This is why Port wine is perfect with dessert.
Improve an Earthy Wine
Ever hear that Old World Wine is better with food? On their own, Old World wines can be very earthy and tart. However, when you pair an earthy wine with something even more earthy like mushroom stroganoff, then the wine tastes more fruity.
Thanks Ben! This is very interesting – especially the part about who is drinking a majority of wines from Chile (hint: they know their wines!)!
Chilean wine is wine made in the South American country of Chile. The region has a long viticultural history for a New World wine region dating to the 16th century when the Spanish conquistadors broughtVitis vinifera vines with them as they colonized the region. In the mid-19th century, French wine varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were introduced. In the early 1980s, a renaissance began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. So far Chile has remained free of phylloxera louse which means that the country’s grapevines do not need to be grafted.
Wine is a fun subject and especially Red Wine! If I could only get my doctor to write me a prescription! Some details of the many health benefits of red wine from HubPages:
“Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” - Benjamin Franklin
The Benefits of Red Wine
Do you enjoy drinking a glass of wine each evening to wind down after a long day of work? Do you sometimes feel guilty about it or wonder if you could be harming your health in some way? Well, no fear, research shows that drinking a glass of red wine every day has some pretty amazing benefits associated with it. The benefits of red wine include better cardiovascular health, immune system maintenance, reduced stress, and cancer prevention. The key is to drink it in moderation rather than to excess, which will lead to health issues rather than benefits. Read on to learn more about the many health benefits of red wine.
Red Wine Facts and History
Wine has been around for a long, long time and plays a key role in many religions and traditions around the world. The first known production of wine dates back 8000 years ago. Made by fermenting grapes, each type of grape produces a distinct wine. For example, the pinot noir grape produces the wine of that name.
Some varieties of red wine include:
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Syrah or Shiraz
The wine resulting from each grape varies depending on many factors, including the location the grapes are grown, the climate, soil conditions, and treatment of the grapes once harvested. This makes for a very interesting experience as your taste buds will be able to savor many different tastes, even among the same variety.
Health Benefits of Red Wine
As mentioned earlier, the primarybenefits of red wine include cardiovascular health, stress reduction, immune system health, and cancer prevention.
- Cardiovascular health: Red wine contains a substance called resveratrol, derived from the skin of the grapes during the fermentation process. Research has shown that resveratrol provides benefits to the cardiovascular system by increasing the levels of HDL or good cholesterol. In fact, new research by Dr. Christoph Westphal points to resveratrol as offering life extension benefits by preventing many age related diseases. This substance in red wine is thought to be the reason why the French, despite their diet high in saturated fat and wine, have a very low rate of diseases of age, including heart disease. In order to get the full benefit of resveratrol, the wine should be sipped slowly to enhance absorption in the mouth.
- Stress reduction: No one can argue that a glass of wine, sipped slowly, provides almost instant relaxtion and because the benefits of stress reduction on overall health are immense, drinking red wine can be beneficial to health if you drink in moderation.
- Immune system health: Research in 2007 showed that both red and white wine have anti-bacterial properties against streptococcus. Red wine is also the only alcoholic beverage that doesn’t suppress the immune system.
- Cancer prevention: According to The National Cancer Institute, the very same substance in red wine, resveratrol, that provides heart health protection also helps prevent cancer. Although the research is in early stages, they initially found that resveratrol prevents tumor formation in animals. In addition, research published in the October 2011 issue of the FASEB Journal found that the magical substance in red wine, resveratrol, actually stopped breast cancer cells from growing.
Moderation is Key for Red Wine Benefits
So now that you know all about the benefits of red wine, you may be motivated to drink it more often. Proceed with caution. Despite the benefits of red wine, if this, or any alcoholic beverage is consumed in excess, your health may suffer. Moderation is defined as no more than one four ounce glass of wine a day for women and one to two glasses for men. Beyond that and you’ll risk liver disease, alcoholism, and an increased risk of cancer. So enjoy red wine, but do so in moderation.
This is SO true. The snob part of the wine business can overtake some common aspects! Even though most of this article is about red wine, be sure to not put ice cubes in your white wine! These tips are from BusinessInsider:
I can’t remember how often I’ve heard, “I don”t like red wine; it”s too dry”, and “I don”t like red wine because I don”t like hot wine”. Let”s look at the second one first.
In the United States we drink red wine too warm and we drink white wine too cold. Weird but true. This gives you your first hint on how you can learn to like red wine.
Red wine should not be served at US room temperature; especially not at commercial kitchen temperature. Room temperature in Europe is usually somewhat cooler that it is in the US. A lot of wineries recommend that red wine be served at or near cellar temperature, which is about 60 degrees or less.
Some cellars are cooler, but you can expect a wine at 55 or 60 to warm up in the glass at the table. I like red wine at 65 – 70 degrees. If it is served at 80 degrees you”ll need an ice bucket to get it where it needs to be. Unless a restaurant is very knowledgeable with wine you won”t see it at 65.
You”ll be lucky to see it at 75. You can keep from serving red wine too warm at home by putting it in the fridge for a half hour or so. If you’re going to decant it (and you should – more on this later), put the decanter in the fridge after the wine has been decanted. If you’re going to learn to like red wine, you may have to take matters into your own hands.
As to the “red wine is too dry” business, in fact it isn’t any drier than white wine. What most people are experiencing is tannin. That”s the stuff that puckers your mouth with some red wines. Tannin comes from the grape skins – so does color and flavor – and it is necessary for some red wine to age properly. But if there’s an excess of tannin, it can feel like your mouth is being turned inside out. Back in the 70’s and 80’s some California wineries seemed like they were running tannin contests. In 1977 I had a monster Zin that actually turned my entire head inside out. Okay, not really, but it felt like it. Fortunately most California wineries have gotten away from that foolishness.
If this is a problem for you, just drink red wines that don’t have a lot of tannin. Pinot Noir comes to mind. Some of them have a little tannin, but Pinot Noir is not usually a big wine, so the tannin will not be overpowering. Also try Beaujolais, a wine from France. Actually, get Beaujolais Villages; it is better and doesn’t cost a whole lot more. Look for wines made from the Grenache grape, or Garnacha in Spanish wines. In France, Grenache is used in the southern Rhone area. Look for Cotes du Rhone. Learn to like red wine by learning which reds are less powerful and tannic. Back to decanting. You have probably heard about letting a red wine breathe. When a red wine is first opened it can be either a little harsh or closed. Closed means that the fruit is hidden so there isn’t much taste. Pouring the wine into a decanter exposes the wine to oxygen, which begins to open its flavors up. It can also get rid of the initial harshness. Most red wine will get better with at least a half hour in a decanter. This is not wine nerd stuff, it’s the best way to learn to like red wine. The right red wine at the right temperature will open a whole new world of flavor and enjoyment for you.
After you’re done enjoying a nice bottle of wine (perhaps with a slice of pizza), don’t toss the wine cork. Recycle it into a plant label for your garden.
With a bamboo skewer or other stick to hold the cork, you can make this label as tall or short as you need, and the cork will really stand out in your garden.
Cork as plant labels | Recycleart
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