Healthy Habit #12: Red Wine + Dark Chocolate

Exploring Intensity

Healthy Habit #12: Red Wine + Dark Chocolate

So we just advised you to limit added sugar. But now we’re going to say it’s OK to eat a little dark chocolate – and to drink a little red wine.

We recently read the book Spring Chicken, Stay Young Forever (or Die Trying) by Bill Gifford. He busts many of the myths around anti-aging products and schemes. By the time you hit page 200 in his book it’s rather depressing because it seems nothing will stop the tide of physical and mental decline. But towards the end of Spring Chicken, Bill offers a few things that seem to work. One of the keys is to “use it or lose it” – continue to exercise every day. We obviously like that tip. Bill also offered a couple of dietary tips for slowing the aging process – or at least staying healthy longer.

1. Red Wine. A little red wine consumption has beneficial effects on blood pressure and HDL (good) cholesterol. Some people may tell you it’s the resveratrol in red wine, however very little resveratrol makes it into the blood from drinking wine. If you abstain from alcohol, you can get similar positive benefits by eating red grapes and drinking tart cherry juice.

Wikipedia offers a decent summary of the pros and cons of drinking red wine.

2. Dark Chocolate. Cocoa beans contain flavonoids, antioxidants that help improve cardiovascular health. We are a little suspicious that the chocolate-industrial complex has funded most of the studies showing these favorable results. However we trust The Cleveland Clinic, the world’s leading cardiac health care facility, and they recommend eating 1 oz of dark chocolate a couple of times each week. That’s a tasty recommendation.

Summary of the habits.

Habit #1: Awareness Part 1. Know Your Baseline Food Intake.

Habit #2: Tasty List. Make a list of healthy/fresh foods that you consider tasty.

Habit #3: Eat Less More Often. Reduce portion size and increase to 4 meals per day.

Habit #4: Make It Social. Find an exercise partner to help you stay on track with fitness goals.

Habit #5: Sub water for sugary drinks and diet soda.

Habit #6: Set goals with a focus on physical achievement and enter a competition.

Habit #7: Limit alcohol to one drink per day.

Habit #8: Foam roll tight muscles every other day.

Habit #9: Don’t get injured. And. If you do get injured, take care of the injury.

Habit #10: Try the anti-inflammatory diet.

Habit #11: Limit added sugar to AHA guidelines.

If you want more information or need some diet advice, contact Sue Miller RD, LDN, CSSD;

-Mark G.