Do I need to cross off both red wine and dark chocolate from my choices? I had a 5-way CABG 18 yrs ago, and have been seeing a cardiologist for routine checkups ever since. Red wine and dark chocolate reportedly have beneficial qualities. I was recently diagnosed as diabetic (barely, with hemo A1c of 6.5%) and it was recommended that I follow a low-carb diet to maintain control.

Amy Campbell


No, not necessarily. Red wine contains antioxidants that may help lower your risk for heart disease by boosting good (HDL) cholesterol and protecting your blood vessels from damage. While it’s not recommended that anyone start drinking red wine for the purposes of heart health, it’s reasonable to enjoy a glass of wine on occasion if you already consume alcohol. Alcohol guidelines for people with diabetes are as follows: up to two servings per day for men, and up to one serving per day for women. A serving of wine is 5 ounces. Talk with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of drinking wine and how to best fit it into your eating plan. As for dark chocolate, there’s some evidence that the flavonols in dark chocolate may help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and even blood glucose. However, keep in mind that chocolate is high in calories and fat. A one-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains 170 calories, 12 grams of fat and 13 grams of carb. If you include it in your eating plan, you can count a one-ounce serving as one carb choice (equal to one slice of bread or one small piece of fruit). Also, choose a dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa to maximize the potential health benefits.

November 19, 2012 at 8:25 pm