This weekend thousands of people will descend on the Yakima Valley's wineries and vineyards for the annual Spring Barrel tasting event.  The weather will cooperate with sunshine and warmer temperatures making for a fabulous unofficial kick-off to the tourist season.

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Alcohol Is Big Business In Yakima

As visitors roam the region many will no doubt also try some of the Valley's noted craft beers.  Alcohol is big business for Yakima but alcohol is not a "settled science."

I have posted many articles extolling the risks and negative effects of alcohol.  I have also posted an equal number of articles touting the benefits of moderate alcohol consumption.  Well, here we go again.

This time the concern is about cardiovascular disease and it comes by way of comparing wine to beer and hard alcohol.

(Spoiler alert: This weekend's wine drinkers win in the end...this time)

Visceral Fat - No Thanks For That

The study shows that the type of alcohol you drink can affect the levels of visceral fat, or “bad” fat, in your body.--think "Beer Belly."  Researchers found drinking beer and spirits is linked to elevated levels of visceral fat, which is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and other health complications.

So are there viscerally fat wine drinkers? (see spoiler alert)

The research concludes that drinking wine shows no such association and may even be protective against visceral fat, depending on the type of wine consumed. SCORE 1 for Spring Barrel tasting!

What's The Difference Between Red And White

Ah, but which barrel?   Power Reds of sweeter or drier Whites?  How about...BOTH?

The science says the data linked consuming red wine with having lower levels of visceral fat, and although white wine consumption did not influence levels of visceral fat, the data show drinking it in moderation could lead to its own health benefit: denser bones.

Studies on visceral fat and obesity are ongoing and important given that nearly 75% of adults in the U.S. are considered overweight or obese and the national medical care costs associated with treating obesity-related diseases total more than $260 Billion Dollars each year.  The new study was recently published in the Obesity Science & Practice journal.

What You Need To Know To Get Started

 The bottom line...moderation and replacing that beer or shot with a glass of red wine from time to time and a great time to start that habit will be this weekend at Spring Barrel tasting across Yakima's Wine Country.

New to wine tasting?  No worries.  Check this out!


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