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Does wine trigger an insulin spike?

by (4991)
Updated about 1 hour ago
Created April 27, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I mean like dry white wine or red - not sweet desert wines. I do tend to have a glass or two most evenings and wondered if this was triggering insulin spikes? And if I'd therefore be much better off cutting it out? Though that would seem a shame as I do enjoy it!

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Good point, Bree. I think of chardonnays from France ("white burgundy") and I associate them with very low residual sugar. Still, even the sweetest California chardonnay is dry compared to a Sauternes. And I have not experienced anything resembling a "spike" from a typical chardonnay.

Medium avatar
12369 · April 27, 2011 at 4:10 PM

wjones - chardonnay grapes are highly 'malleable' by the winemakers and can range from a dry wine to a sweet late harvest wine - so I think that you are both right depending on what the winemaker has done with his grapes

Medium avatar
12369 · April 27, 2011 at 4:06 PM

i know i loved the argenitinian malbecs for a good reason

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I drink ridiculous amounts of dry wine, mostly red. Last time I checked I was in ketosis. Blood sugar not affected to any discernible degree by wine, based on blood glucose readings. It is hard to tease this out though, because I drink wine with food. That said, blood glucose levels after eating are not appreciably different than blood glucose levels after drinking wine and eating. So I think your assumption is correct.

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Oh and this answer is so full of rampant speculation I don't even know where to begin.

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Chardonnay is a dry white wine with little residual sugar. It is not evil and does not merit paranoia. But go ahead and shun the stuff. More for me.

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5136 · April 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM

but a little Sauternes is pretty tasty with some foie gras...

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20411 · April 27, 2011 at 12:43 PM

The small amount of sugar will trigger a small insulin release - I wouldn't call it a spike. Ethanol drops insulin resistance in the liver (think Star Trek when their shields drop) and this drops blood sugar - I can sometimes get hypoglycemic from this effect. Dr. Bernstein says that alcohol "paralyzes" the liver (with respect to insulin resistance).

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25467 · April 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Any wine high in alcohol content tends to spike insulin due to high residual sugars. Red zins are one great example. The older aged red the lower the residual sugar content and the lower the tannins as well. Sauternes is among the highest sugar content and longest aged wines ever. D'yquem, a legendary wine is the finest example. As this wine ages it turns from bright golden yellow to motor oil brown due to caramelization. The older the wine the more prized it is. I love it but rarely drink it now because of what it does to my cells

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1197 · April 27, 2011 at 9:48 AM

If it does you could just have it PWO. Drop the barbell and down a glass of pinot noir.

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5 Answers

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25467 · April 27, 2011 at 10:17 AM

All wines do to certain extent. The worst offenders are ports and Sauternes and reislings and Chardonnay. Reds do as well but the they have considerably less residual sugar unless we are talking ports or the red ice wines. The red wines have high levels of polyphenols that actually activate longevity genes but their concentration is quite variable depending upon the plants exposure to pesticides for production. Sadly most Cali reds have pesticides used so this reduces the production of resveratrol and quercetin in the skins and decreases their health benefits and longevity factors. Argentine malbecs and French pinots have best levels because pestacie use is rare in production and the argentine malbecs are grow at 12000 feet in the Andes mountains putting them closer to the ionizing radiation of the sun and inducing hormesis in the plant to stimulate higher levels of resveratrol. The French Pinot grape is notoriously fragile and very susceptible to biological damage from fungi and bacteria therefore it's longevity genes are stimulated via hormesis and hence the grape skins have higher levels of resveratrol within them. This is why these two wines are highly prized by biologists and those wishing to extend healthy life

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Good point, Bree. I think of chardonnays from France ("white burgundy") and I associate them with very low residual sugar. Still, even the sweetest California chardonnay is dry compared to a Sauternes. And I have not experienced anything resembling a "spike" from a typical chardonnay.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be
8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Oh and this answer is so full of rampant speculation I don't even know where to begin.

98148e265e1a9b27ce1c206190c1b8a4
5136 · April 27, 2011 at 2:17 PM

but a little Sauternes is pretty tasty with some foie gras...

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be
8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

Chardonnay is a dry white wine with little residual sugar. It is not evil and does not merit paranoia. But go ahead and shun the stuff. More for me.

Medium avatar
12369 · April 27, 2011 at 4:06 PM

i know i loved the argenitinian malbecs for a good reason

Medium avatar
12369 · April 27, 2011 at 4:10 PM

wjones - chardonnay grapes are highly 'malleable' by the winemakers and can range from a dry wine to a sweet late harvest wine - so I think that you are both right depending on what the winemaker has done with his grapes

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · April 27, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Any wine high in alcohol content tends to spike insulin due to high residual sugars. Red zins are one great example. The older aged red the lower the residual sugar content and the lower the tannins as well. Sauternes is among the highest sugar content and longest aged wines ever. D'yquem, a legendary wine is the finest example. As this wine ages it turns from bright golden yellow to motor oil brown due to caramelization. The older the wine the more prized it is. I love it but rarely drink it now because of what it does to my cells

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1049 · April 27, 2011 at 8:37 AM

Interesting question. I just assumed that yes it does. However I read that it does the opposite..lowers your blood sugar. This is odd, because it seems to me when I have a cravy..I could satisfy it the same with either a piece of chocolate or a glass of wine.

and on ketosis. The liver can make ketones out of alcohol, so technically, when you drink you'll continue to produce ketones and so will remain in ketosis. The problem is ... alcohol converts more easily to ketones than fatty acids, so your liver will use the alchol first, in preference to fat. Thus, when you drink, basically your FAT burning is put on hold until all the alcohol is out of your system.

This rapid breakdown of alcohol into ketones and acetaldehyde (the intoxicating by-product) ... tends to put low carbers at risk for quicker intoxication ... especially if no other food is consumed to slow absorption.

Curious to hear what others have to say.

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4991 · April 28, 2011 at 7:15 AM

I ask because I can't help feeling that wine is why I can't get rid of the last bits of belly fat - I'm sure there must be the remains of a six-pack under there somewhere but it is well hidden!

I thought perhaps an insulin spike was causing me to retain fat - if no insulin spike, I presume it is just the extra calories in the wine?

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1344 · April 27, 2011 at 11:31 AM

I am currently shooting for ketosis and have been reading a lot about it. If I could tell you where I read it, I would link it, but yesterday I was reading that it was a good choice for ketosis because there are between 1 and 6 grams per sugar per glass and it likely wouldn't kick you out. Therefore, I am assuming you won't get much of an insulin response.

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8858 · April 27, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I drink ridiculous amounts of dry wine, mostly red. Last time I checked I was in ketosis. Blood sugar not affected to any discernible degree by wine, based on blood glucose readings. It is hard to tease this out though, because I drink wine with food. That said, blood glucose levels after eating are not appreciably different than blood glucose levels after drinking wine and eating. So I think your assumption is correct.

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0 · April 27, 2011 at 2:52 PM

I just has a small glass of dessert wine and my blood sugar did not change at all from the previous reading.

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