Saturday, February 02, 2008

Book Review: The Red Wine Diet, by Roger Corder (NW)


Disclosure: This book was sent to The Wine Cask Blog compliments of Penguin Group, the publisher.

Is it just wishful thinking that wine drinkers generally are healthier and often live longer than people who don't drink wine on a regular basis? According to Roger Corder, the anwer is unequivocally no. This is not wishful thinking, but rather it's a fact rooted in measurable science.

Corder puts together the best explanation I've read for the potential health benefits of moderate consumption of red wine. And beyond that, he fully explores the French paradox that has inspired countless theories on diet, lifestyle, and happiness. The French paradox is simply that the French have relatively low levels of heart disease despite high saturated fat consumption. After extensive study on this topic, Corder has emerged convinced that red wine and other foods containing similar components do contribute to a healthier vascular system.

Much of the book is dedicated to laying out a guide for complete nutrition (of which red wine is just one component) and providing recipes to develop this approach. However, the nutrition guide only makes sense after understanding Corder's research. He does an excellent job of presenting his findings on the beneficial components of red wine and broadening his research beyond wine to show that foods such as berries, nuts, tree fruit, and spices carry the same benefit. These components are characterized as a type of polyphenol called procyanidins. Extensive research led Corder to better understand that some wines contain high levels of procyanidins, and this set him on a quest to discover wines from around the world that exhibit the highest levels. His journey through the world of wine took him from California to South America to Australia to Italy and on to France. In the process, he identified wines with high levels of beneficial procyanidins and developed a proprietary scoring sytem to segment them for the reader. This is the fun part of the book. After clawing through the chapters on the heavy science behind all this research, the reader gets to journey through the world of wine with Corder. He then seamlessly connects these wines to the broader guide to complete nutrition and a healthy diet.

If you enjoy a glass of red wine, you'll be intrigued by this book. Even if you don't drink wine but are interested in the science of nutrition and healthy eating habits, you'll find this book remarkably relevent.

Raise a glass!

2 comments:

Wilf G.K said...

Just bought the book and after reading your review am looking forward very much to reading it.

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