May 2024 Issue

Editor’s Spot: Red Wine’s Health Benefits
By Judith Riddle
Today’s Dietitian
Vol. 26 No. 5 P. 4

The month of May kicks off National Mediterranean Diet Month, a time when dietitians will tout the healthfulness of this renowned diet pattern that US News & World Report has ranked No. 1 for the past seven years in its annual roundup of diet rankings.

The Med diet is known for its emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, fish and seafood, olives and olive oil, capers, and herbs and spices, as well as small portions of dairy and meat. The diet has been followed for centuries by people living in Africa, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, and other countries along the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a diet characterized by its relatively high-fat content due to the olive oil but is low in saturated fat and high in nutrients (eg, carotenoids, vitamin C, tocopherols [vitamin E]), dietary fiber, antioxidant compounds, and bioactive elements that have anti-inflammatory properties. What’s more, the Med diet is associated with lower chronic disease risk, such as type 2 diabetes and CVD, and improved brain health.

However, there’s one important component of the Med diet I didn’t mention—and that’s red wine intake with meals. Studies show that red wine contains polyphenols, such as resveratrol, anthocyanins, and catechins, which are the most impactful antioxidants said to decrease risk of CVD and cancers. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that adults of legal drinking age should drink alcohol in moderation by limiting intake to two drinks or less per day for men and one drink or less per day for women. However, the guidelines also state that adults can choose not to drink, and if they don’t drink, they shouldn’t start.

In this month’s issue, Today’s Dietitian features the article “Wine Intake and the Med Diet” on page 16. In it, we discuss the wide variety of research on the health benefits of wine consumption, recommendations from health organizations, and counseling strategies for RDs.

Also in this issue are articles on nutrition and cognitive health, dietary interventions and infertility, and menopause and risk of eating disorders.

This month also kicks off Today’s Dietitian’s 11th annual Spring Symposium, May 19 to 22, at the Hyatt Regency in Salt Lake City, where RDs will attend live continuing education workshops and presentations led by some of the most notable experts in dietetics. RDs will visit our exhibit hall to interact with sponsor companies and learn more about their products and services. There also will be lots of opportunities for networking with colleagues, as well as fitness classes and fun. So come join us, we look forward to seeing you there. And please enjoy the issue!

— Judith Riddle, Editor