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Updated Sunday, January 6, 2013 at 07:01 AM

Is red wine really good for you?

By Food Network Kitchens

Q: I’ve heard that red wine is good for you. Is that true?

A: Many folks choose red wine because of the health benefits. Studies have found that the polyphenol antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart.

Studies have also found that red wine may be linked to breast-cancer prevention. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology found that resveratrol helped stop breast-cancer cells from growing.

But many red wines are made with sulfites to help prevent microbial growth and extend shelf life. Sulfites are also used to slow the oxidation process, which helps preserve flavors as wine ages. One in 100 people who have asthma is sensitive to sulfites and can develop itchy skin, nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea or difficulty breathing.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that sulfites be listed on the label if they’re used. Organic wines don’t use sulfites, but are tougher to find and are usually more expensive.

Oftentimes, folks hear that a food or beverage is good for them and think more is better. This isn’t the case with red wine — or most other foods, for that matter.

The verdict: Red wine is definitely on our “healthful” list, but just like in the story of Goldilocks, too little or too much won’t do: You want it “just right” — or, in this case, in moderation.

Courtesy Toby Amidor on foodnetwork.com


Photodisc
Red wine does have health benefits, but moderation is key.




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