- Alcohol preference of an
individual is associated with lifestyle factors and socioeconomic condition.
- The choice of alcoholic
beverages may directly influence heart health
- Association between alcoholic beverage preference and cardiac and
It is a long-held
belief that people who drank wine were a lot healthier than people who drank
beer. Researchers Diewertje Sluik and colleagues from Wageningen University,
Netherlands sought to find out if there was a cardiometabolic factor associated
with this belief.
The research study was
called 'EetMeetWeet' and email mailers were sent to people to join the program.
7437 people from neighboring communities were included in the study, out of
which 2048 people agreed to answer a nutrition questionnaire.
‘People who drink wine show higher levels of HDL or good cholesterol than who drink beer.’
A food frequency
questionnaire was administered to all the 2048 participants and it included 180
questions that were used to assess:
of Alcohol Preference
- Dietary intake
- Vitamin intake
There were three
classifications of alcohol beverages
in the food frequency
questionnaire - wine, beer and spirits, where sprits include rum, whiskey, gin
and liqueur. A person was considered to have a preference for a particular
alcoholic beverage if the total number of reported glasses consumed was more
of Dietary Patterns
The various factors that
were analyzed were:
- This included meat, cooking fat, potatoes with a low intake
of vegetables, rice, legumes and whole wheat pasta.
This included a high intake of snacks
, non-alcoholic beverages, refined
rice and pasta, sauces, condiments and poor intake of fruits, vegetables, tea
High intake of vegetables and fruits
, salad dressing and oils, fish, eggs and soup with
low intake of sweets, cookies, snacks.
This included a diet high in wholegrain bread, margarine, potatoes, processed
meat and low intake of eggs, nuts, cereals and cooking fat.
- This diet
included high consumption of potatoes, sweet, cookies, full-fat
dairy, cooking fat, white bread, tea and coffee.
6: Low-fat Dairy and Cereals-
includes high consumption of low-fat dairy and cheese, cereals,
rice, whole grain pasta with low intake of cooking fat and sweets.
Apart from the
dietary questionnaire, there were other parameters of the study participants
that were measured:
body fat percentage
- Total cholesterol
- High Density
- Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL)
- Alanine aminotransferase
The results of the study
showed that wine
had high HDL cholesterol and lower HbA1c. These people also
showed a greater inclination towards a salad diet and showed a better
physical status than beer drinkers. Earlier studies have shown that moderate alcohol
lowered the risk for diabetes among women by 25-30%.
There was also another study that found that high HDL cholesterol was the
reason behind an inverse relationship between alcohol and diabetes.
People who drank beer
had higher blood
and showed greater adiposity in the mid region. This shows
that the term 'beer belly' is a reality with most men showing greater fat
storage in the abdomen. The increased waist circumference has been shown to
increase cardiac health risk. Liver enzymes have also been found to be high in
people who preferred beer due to the consumption of absolute ethanol. Moreover,
beer drinkers were more likely to prefer a 'meat' and 'bread' diet.
The study showed that
the preference for specific alcohol beverages was not solely dictated by the
health condition of the individual but also depended on the socioeconomic and
lifestyle factors. This would mean that making a conscious choice for the
'healthier' alcoholic beverage would be a more sensible option.
Sluik, Elske M Brouwer-Brolsma, Jeanne H M de Vries, Anouk Geelen, Edith J M
Feskens "Associations of alcoholic beverage preference with cardiometabolic and
lifestyle factors: the NQplus study"; BMJ Open 2016