Thursday, 24 August 2017

Unhelpful Headlines

I was reading the newspapers last week, when I came across all these headlines screaming things like ALCOHOL MAKES YOU LIVE LONGER!

Oh great.

It appears that the American College of Cardiology have done a twelve year study, concluding that a glass of wine a day can lower your risk of mortality, especially from cardiovascular disease.

I used to love articles like these.

Just as I'd started to realise that booze was ruining my life, and just as I'd managed to pluck up the courage to consider quitting for good, I'd read a headline like that and think Hurrah! No need to stop drinking after all! Wine is positively GOOD for me! It's Mediterranean for God's sake!

I'd picture myself, a contented wizened old crone at the age of one hundred and six, sitting in the sunshine with my carafe of vino while my great-great-grandchildren played happily around my feet, and I'd pour myself (another) large glass.

I never read the small print. Obviously.

As with all these studies, the small print states (in quite large letters, actually), that any more than a tiny amount of wine per day reverses this positive effect and becomes completely disadvantageous to your health in a myriad of different ways.

Over and over again studies have shown how closely boozing is linked to cancer, especially breast cancer. Obviously, I ignored all that - until I got breast cancer.

The main reason why red wine is always cited as being particularly beneficial is that it contains a compound called resveratrol which comes from the skin of red grapes and is rich in the lovely antioxidants that keep your heart healthy and guard against cancer.

Mmmm, I thought. Perhaps I should start drinking alcohol free red wine. All the benefits, none of the drawbacks. Simples.

So, I bought a yummy looking, frightfully cheap, bottle of alcohol free cabernet sauvignon.

I had a small glass with dinner, feeling smug about all that resveratrol.

That was surprisingly nice, I thought, perhaps I'll have another.

An hour later and I'd polished off most of the bottle! Good God, I'm totally useless! If I'm so hopeless at moderating the alcohol free stuff, even after two and a half years sober, imagine what I'd be like with the real thing!?! 

A helpful reminder.

So, I went to the supermarket and bought a large punnet of red grapes.

Love to you all,

SM x


  1. I have friends that drink a bottle of red wine each, all the while saying "It's so good for your heart." I drank white wine, so got none of the benefits anyway.
    I've also read that when they equalize a bunch of other factors that it's not necessarily the wine that is doing the good, it's doing the good despite the fact that it is wine. So getting the restveratrol in another form is better. Maybe grape jelly?
    Love the post. ; )

  2. Ha ha yes the alcohol free red wine is ok these days but I also drink the whole bottle. Almost had a glass in the morning the other day just to throw out the bottle until my husband pointed out I would still smell like a wino even without the alcohol. I get a bit irritated about that health thing though. As you say you have to drink the tiniest amount and who could do that!

  3. Punnet, eh? Thanks for introducing me to a brand-new word! (And providing a chuckle.)

    Media on my side of the pond has been rife just these past few days with reports on increased drinking by Americans, specifically older populations.

  4. There was a sharp correlation between the number of Doctors who invested in vineyards when they retired and these articles / studies proving the health benefits of wine- funnily enough they come from a VERY small pool of actual data...

  5. This has made me laugh a lot!!! The bit were you picture yourself at 106! Yes I've done that too, I tried to believe red wine would make me live longer so getting through a bottle a night wasn't a bad thing!! Despite the raging red wine hangovers, gosh I don't miss those! Xxxx

  6. I did the same thing! I bought AF wine thinking it would be a good idea. The first glass tasted like crap but then I got used to it an drank the whole bottle. I felt guilty like I had been drinking. I have never bought AF wine again. WHY would I drink the whole AF bottle? I didn't even like the taste. It was just too weird and a scary sign for having "just one" alcoholic drink for sure.

  7. HA! "Good God, i'm totally useless" I cracked up. This was me over the weekend. I was out of town for a friend's birthday and my friend whose birthday it was is pregnant. She is an avid drinker, so, being that she can't have the real stuff, he husband brought alcohol free champagne and wine - 3 bottles of each. I had a whole bottle of alcohol free champagne! Why? Only the Lord knows. This was a great post.

  8. I too used to like the excuse those headlines gave me ... However reading the current trend in my age group having alcohol problems, I feel pleased to think I am ahead of the game in getting that witch turned off for good :-)
    Interesting chat with a fellow sober person last weekend ... He can't take the non alcoholic beers 'too much like the real stuff' was his comment. Now I was a wine quaffer and am very happy with one beer ... But as you have all said above .. Just have to finish the bottle ... Sans alcohol even!!! We are a funny ol' bunch :-))
    Happy bank holiday!

  9. Hi SM
    I went to get the Sophie Kinsella book you mentioned in your last post. I always read your blog, so glad to see you are doing so well and really flourishing AF.
    Back on Day 6 for me... sigh... gets so boring to write that over and over.. But I am blogging again, I am committing to 30 days of blogging whether I drink or not.

  10. I'm relatively newly sober (51 days). Although I definitely never ever want to drink alcohol again, I wouldn't dare try AF wine or beer. For me, I think it would be a slippery slope to the real poison. I'm making do with my apple and elderflower cooler (and lots of it too).