Friday, July 29, 2011

Chardonnay Syndrome

It’s a woman’s curse. We love our white wine. Such a light, easy drink. Refreshing, simple — not really like “drinking” at all. That’s why we say, “I’ll just have a white wine.” It’s not a real drink. Just a glass of chardonnay. Then when the waiter comes, we don’t even speak to order a second glass: We just tap our finger to the rim and raise our eyebrows, but he knew the order was coming before he ever got to the table because we are women and we love our white wine.

That first glass is cooling — and if you are an overheated menopausal woman, you’ll do anything to feel cooler. Or maybe you are just cold blooded - maybe that’s why I like my wine extra cold. I know, I know, sommeliers will say it crushes the flavors — whatever, I like it icy cold! Plus, wine takes the edge off and as our hormones decline we crave things that make us feel good. And frankly, our friends and family would rather make sure we have our wine than deal with our whine. So what’s the harm with a glass or two at lunch…or a glass in the afternoon, or a couple with dinner?

Sadly, getting sucked into Chardonnay Syndrome will not only give you sour, acidic white-wine breath, it will also make you fat! Or at least make you hold onto more body fat! White wine is sugar, and — unless you need the instant energy — your body will store sugar as fat, along with whatever else you are eating with it. Middle-aged women are dealing with imbalanced hormones, which make them crave sugar and carbohydrates and leave them vulnerable to the pounds creeping on, usually through the abdomen, belly, and butt area.

Also, for so many of us who have food allergies, the yeast in wine can be a huge issue and set off a cascade of problems. Wonder why you are bloating? You might look to white wine first. If you are allergic or intolerant to yeast, the good flora in your gut gets eaten up, leaving the bad guys to feast on the sugar/yeast and take over. Ironically, food intolerances make you crave the foods you should avoid. Your stomach is sticking out, you’re bloated all the time, you’re constipated, and maybe you’re even suffering from acid reflux, yet you keep drinking the white wine because it’s the only thing that makes you feel good and not care that you are getting fat! 

Imbalanced flora in your gut can eventually cause leaky gut, that’s when the little bad guys eat through the lining of your gut and create “leaks” that allow dangerous toxins to escape into your bloodstream. This can lead to various health problems, including autoimmune diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and others. If you suspect you are allergic to yeast, consider taking the Food Allergy Test.

In the meantime, ditch the white wine for now. 

Red wine, on the other hand, has a lower sugar content and has been shown to have antioxidant benefits. Still, enjoy in moderation, and maybe have a glass of white a couple times a year. 

Or you can switch to Tequila — but only those kinds made from 100 percent agave. Regular tequila is about half sugar water. High-end brands are 100 percent agave and are low-glycemic — as long as you don’t mix them with sugary margarita mix. Try it on the rocks — with a fresh squeeze of lime. Nice!

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