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Wine for Diabetics?

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Remo Perriello

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Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:30 pm

For the first time today, one of my regular customers asked for only a dry Pinot Grigio. This after drinking Cabernets. I asked her why, and she said her Dr. had recommended it after learning of her history with Diabetes.

Pardon my naivety, but I have opened my Wine Store for a little less than a year and I was caught off guard. No one has asked me that before. After a bit of discussion, I found out from her that it was the lower sugar count in the wine. I briefly told her that there are red wines that have lower residue sugar than Pinots. But, it got a bit too technical for her; I finally just gave her a Pinot Grigio and asked her to let me know how she feels after drinking it. (Sounds gloomy huh…?)

When she left, I showered the internet for the residue sugar on the Marco Fulluga Pinot Grigio I gave her and no mention on the websites. However, there seems to be a common consensus I believe, anything lower than 4g/l. In the lack of too many terms...

Well, just another insight to add to my list of buying decisions... (Screw tops vs. Cork, Organic vs. Non-organic, Popular vs. Rarity, Wine Rating vs. No ratings, etc...)
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:32 am

Interesting, Remo. I did a quick check of a couple of internet sites on diabetes and it seems that any dry wine, in moderation, is ok for most diabetics. Perhaps the doctor was looking at pinot grigio as being both dry and low in alcohol?

Perhaps someone with more personal experience on this can chime in.

Mike
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:17 am

Like Mike suggested, it may be a recommendation based on both residual sugar and alcohol. A dry German Riesling may also fit the bill. Here is an interesting link:
http://www.berkeleywellness.com/html/wl ... d0804.html
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Mark Lipton » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:34 am

Diabetics are usually told to think in terms of "glycemic index," a measure of the amount of blood sugar generated by any particular food. Usually, both red and white wine are assigned a value of zero for glycemic index, but clearly any amount of residual sugar will increase that value. So, any wine that's vinified dry should be OK. So tell her to steer away from any bottle with an animal on it, all those off-dry Rieslings and Chenins and most CA Chardonnays.

Mark Lipton
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Thomas

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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Thomas » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:04 am

Remo Perriello wrote:For the first time today, one of my regular customers asked for only a dry Pinot Grigio. This after drinking Cabernets. I asked her why, and she said her Dr. had recommended it after learning of her history with Diabetes.

Pardon my naivety, but I have opened my Wine Store for a little less than a year and I was caught off guard. No one has asked me that before. After a bit of discussion, I found out from her that it was the lower sugar count in the wine. I briefly told her that there are red wines that have lower residue sugar than Pinots. But, it got a bit too technical for her; I finally just gave her a Pinot Grigio and asked her to let me know how she feels after drinking it. (Sounds gloomy huh…?)

When she left, I showered the internet for the residue sugar on the Marco Fulluga Pinot Grigio I gave her and no mention on the websites. However, there seems to be a common consensus I believe, anything lower than 4g/l. In the lack of too many terms...

Well, just another insight to add to my list of buying decisions... (Screw tops vs. Cork, Organic vs. Non-organic, Popular vs. Rarity, Wine Rating vs. No ratings, etc...)


Remo,

There are so-called dry wines that come with residual sugar levels that can be far too high for diabetics. Many American "Dry Rieslings" or even an abundance of "Brut" sparklers can be as high as 1.5% residual sugar.
(I won't go into the technical dry-sweet argument for fear of once more being accused of being stupid). Suffice to say, the word "dry" says nothing to indicate the sugar level.

If you can find them, look for Clinitest tablets. These once were commonly used by diabetics to test their sugar levels (these days, there are better methods). I use the tablets in my wine classe to show people how much sugar can be included in a so-called dry wine. They are close to accurate, if handled properly. If you want them I can recommend a source. Email me.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Bob Cohen » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:49 pm

Remo,

My ex is a Type I diabetic and she had no problem with drinking good wine, she just took it into account when she considered how much insulin to give.
--Bob
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 22, 2006 12:57 pm

I guess somebody ought to say this, and I know you practice it, Remo:

Whenever anyone comes to me as a purported "wine expert" and asks about wine that's safe for diabetics, the <i>first</i> thing I always say is, "Ask your doctor first. Don't fool around with your life."

But the second thing I say is, "Make sure your doctor isn't anti-alcohol," and after that, I'm on board with all the other good info in this thread. :)
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:09 pm

Robin Garr wrote:But the second thing I say is, "Make sure your doctor isn't anti-alcohol," and after that, I'm on board with all the other good info in this thread. :)

I go to the local VA Clinic for my medical needs. The doctor I see is a woman of Middle East origin. During one of her interviews she asked "How much do you drink?" I thought for a moment and replied, "Probably about 6 beers and 1-2 bottles of wine per week". "Thats too much! Can I refer you for alcohol counseling?" she asked. "I really don't think that's necessary" I replied. "Well, I'm going to have to enter in your recored that you refused alcohol counseling." :roll:
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Thomas » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:20 pm

Howie,

You should have spit at her, to prove that with all the alcohol you consume you could still spit straight ;)
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Remo Perriello

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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Tue Aug 22, 2006 1:57 pm

Thank you all for your excellent feedback...

Robin, I understand the concern of not being a "doctor" and I kept reassuring the woman that I , was definitely "not" one. However, she kept saying, "my doctor said.. my doctor said... etc..." I told her there is overwelming information on the internet and I will definitely share some of the information in this thread... It just goes to show that people need to be more "proactive" in their lives and not always take their Doctors advice as final...

That being said, her doctor is "fortunately" not anti-alcohol and is understanding of the benefits as well as the dangers of alcohol.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:03 pm

Howie,

What a funny story... Stay away from shrinks... They will eat you up!!!
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Ian Sutton » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:07 pm

Odd that my only experience with diabetics, was the other extreme of their affliction.

I had a couple of half bottles of TBA Riesling 1976 at a friends house awaiting my collection. He had some friends round, one of whom was diabetic. Apparently their blood sugar levels were dangerously low and without there being any sugar in the house, my friend volunteered my bottles, which apparently successfully got their sugar levels up (as you'd expect from a TBA).

A shame for me, but you'd hardly begrudge losing the bottles under these circumstances.

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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Thomas » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:08 pm

Remo,

The problem I have with the doctor's recommendation is that not all Pinot Grigio is equally "dry." So the doctor could be leading the patient astray by not being specific.

Having said that, I know three diabetic people who handle moderate wine consumption without incident--at least without incident specifically traced to their wine consumption.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:10 pm

Bob Cohen wrote:Remo,

My ex is a Type I diabetic and she had no problem with drinking good wine, she just took it into account when she considered how much insulin to give.


Great insight Bob. Like my post further in the thread, people always, "well in my case", to take their Doctors advise very seriously that they do not research options for themselves. In other words, "what doctor says is what doctors says..."

I will definitely share your experience with my customer...
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:32 pm

Howie Hart wrote:"Well, I'm going to have to enter in your recored that you refused alcohol counseling." :roll:


I hope you didn't leave it at that, Howie. I'd definitely have been sitting down with her supervisor for a little talk.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Robin Garr » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:33 pm

Remo Perriello wrote:Robin, I understand the concern of not being a "doctor" and I kept reassuring the woman that I , was definitely "not" one.


I figured you would, Remo! I wasn't really aiming that at you, specifically, so much as getting the point on the record in this thread. :)
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 3:41 pm

Robin Garr wrote:I hope you didn't leave it at that, Howie. I'd definitely have been sitting down with her supervisor for a little talk.

Yeah and if I did she'd probably have a prescription for 100 baby aspirins shipped to my house and they'd end up billing me $22 for it. Oh, wait, she already did that - never mind. :?
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Randy Buckner » Tue Aug 22, 2006 4:04 pm

One research article for you to peruse and make up you mind on:

Diabetes mellitus — The risk of diabetes mellitus is decreased in people with moderate alcohol consumption. In prospective studies of 42,000 men and 85,000 women, for example, the relative risk of diabetes among moderate drinkers (two to three drinks daily for men, one or more drinks daily for women) relative to abstainers was 0.6.

A meta-analysis of 15 cohort studies also found a decreased risk for diabetes among light to moderate, but not heavy, alcohol users. Compared with abstainers, the relative risk of diabetes for those who consumed 6 to 12, 12 to 24, 24 to 48, and 48 grams of alcohol daily were 0.70 (95% CI 0.61-0.79), 0.69 (95% CI 0.58-0.81), 0.72 (95% CI 0.62-0.84), and 1.04 (95% CI 0.84-1.29).

Cross-sectional studies suggest that moderate drinkers have improved insulin sensitivity and lower plasma insulin levels compared with nondrinkers. In some but not all studies, heavier drinking (three or more drinks per day) lowers the risk even more than moderate drinking. However, it is not clear whether these effects are independent of an effect of alcohol upon body-mass index.

A randomized crossover trial in 51 postmenopausal women found that compared with no alcohol consumption, 30 g of alcohol daily (two drinks) for eight weeks lowered serum insulin levels, while leaving glucose levels unchanged, and thus improved insulin sensitivity; 15 g of alcohol daily (one drink) for eight weeks showed a nonsignificant trend toward improving insulin sensitivity. Triglyceride levels also decreased during exposure to alcohol. This study provides a plausible mechanism for the lower risk of diabetes associated with moderate drinking.

Another potential link between moderate drinking and diabetes is the effect of alcohol on adiponectin, an adipocyte hormone which directly improves insulin sensitivity in animal models. Both clinical trials and population studies show that moderate drinking is associated with higher adiponectin levels.

Mild to moderate alcohol consumption also may decrease the risk of death due to coronary heart disease in older diabetics. In one study of 983 diabetics with a mean age of 69 years, the relative risk of coronary heart disease mortality compared with never drinkers was 0.54 for those who drank less than 2 g/day (less than one drink per week), and 0.21 for those who drank 14 or more g/day (about one drink or more per day).

On the other hand, alcohol may worsen diabetic neuropathy and, anecdotally, may induce severe hypoglycemia. In a small study (n = 16) of type 1 diabetics, a modest amount of alcohol with the evening meal increased the risk for delayed hypoglycemia.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Hoke » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:10 pm

Speaking as a diabetic, and not a doctor:

I'm a Type II, on oral drugs with Byetta. That's a lot different from a Type I. But I've got a Type I in the family (from my wife's side).

She occasionally drinks wine and mixed drinks. I more than occasionally drink, but usually in modest amounts.

We both manage to do so while managing our diabetes. We look at a glass of wine as just another source of calories, realizing that our glycemic/caloric intake has to be taken into account, and adapting accordingly.

For me that means monitoring total intake to keep within bounds (more wine, less food). For my daughter, that mean's figuring out what sort of insulin injection she has to administer to counter the glycemic factor of the wine.

And we realize as well that sweeter wine means more sugar intake. [Duh!]

Diabetics (those who survive for long term without losing appendages, limbs or eyesight, at least) mostly show the ability to understand and adapt to their intake, and to use the appropriate medicines when they must to maintain their equlibrium.
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Tue Aug 22, 2006 8:36 pm

Thomas wrote:Remo,

The problem I have with the doctor's recommendation is that not all Pinot Grigio is equally "dry." So the doctor could be leading the patient astray by not being specific.

Having said that, I know three diabetic people who handle moderate wine consumption without incident--at least without incident specifically traced to their wine consumption.


Great information everyone, I appreciate all the insights!

I definitely have a wealth of information to provide my customer. Thank you all for sharing.

I suppose in summary:

1. Take the advice from your personal Doctor as "heightened" advice, or deeper insight, in addition to what Thomas said, "not all Pinot Grigio's are dry..."

2. Diabetes is a "way of life" and DOES not hinder, as previously noted by personal examples.

3. Moderation, moderation, moderation...

4. Howie drinks "too much",,,, :shock:
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Howie Hart » Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:06 pm

LOL :lol:
Yeah, that's it!
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Thomas » Wed Aug 23, 2006 10:33 am

Thanks Remo, for correcting my "is" "are" construction. Proves once again that everyone is in need not of a critic but of an editor...
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Remo Perriello » Wed Aug 23, 2006 3:30 pm

Thomas wrote:Thanks Remo, for correcting my "is" "are" construction. Proves once again that everyone is in need not of a critic but of an editor...


Thats funny, Thomas, before I post anything, I copy and paste it into Word. I run the spellchecker and grammar editor... LOL...

Who needs to think for themselves...??

In the future all we need is "concept" and our hand held computer, blackberry, garage door opener, tv remote, cell phone, GPS, voice translator, will do the rest...
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Re: Wine for Diabetics?

by Howie Hart » Wed Aug 23, 2006 4:04 pm

Remo Perriello wrote:In the future all we need is "concept" and our hand held computer, blackberry, garage door opener, tv remote, cell phone, GPS, voice translator, will do the rest...

You forgot the Tricorder and Tractor Beam. 8)

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