April 3, 2009

You Ask, I Answer: Grapes vs. Wine

Out of curiosity, how many grapes would someone have to eat to equal a serving (how many ounces is that?) of wine?

Also, is grape juice just as healthy as wine?

-- Patricia (last name unknown)
Berkeley, CA

Is it only red
grapes that offer health benefits?

-- "WifeMomChocoholic"

Via the blog

As I mentioned in a previous post, the same buzz-worthy components in red wine are available in red grapes. One slight exception to the rule is resveratrol, which is simply more concentrated in wine.

One reason you don't hear quite as much about white wine, by the way, is because the production process separates the grape's flesh from the skin (for red wine, the whole fruit is used).

If you want to talk numbers, your average bottle of wine is made from approximately 600 grapes.

Now, let's do some math.

A standard wine bottle contains roughly 25 ounces. According to MyPyramid guidelines, one serving of wine is equal to 5 ounces.

Therefore, one serving of wine contains 120 grapes. That helps us better understand the recommendations of drinking, rather than eating, the fruit.

That is not to say, of course, that you need to eat 120 grapes to get health benefits (FYI -- one serving of fresh grapes is made up of 15 individual pieces).

As far as grape juice is concerned -- the health benefits are not quite up to those of wine.

Remember, the vast majority of grape juices are made from concentrate (which is largely made up of the naturally-occurring sugars). Consequently, a lot of the polyphenols and antioxidants found in grape skins do not make it to the final product.

Although red wine (and, therefore, red grapes) offers a wider variety of healthful components in larger amounts, don't cast off white grapes. Even though white wine is not made from grape skins, the fruit's flesh offers a fair share of polyphenols and antioxidants.


Matt said...

Thanks for the informative article. I think I'd actually receive more pleasure from eating 120 grapes than drinking 5 oz of wine.

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