Friday, September 18, 2020

Sugar, wine, and breakout

I understand your stance on sugar and it causing problems with people’s skin. What about wine and its sugar content? Can drinking wine cause breakout?

When grapes are picked, they contain about 24% sugar by weight. That is a lot of sugar! During the fermentation of wine, yeast eats up this sugar and expels alcohol. So the process of making wine does reduce the amount of sugar in this alcoholic beverage. During most of my adult life, I was rarely if ever affected by the sugar content in wine. I didn’t breakout from wine (that I know of) and I am one of the most sensitive people when it comes to sugar.

Sweeter wines will have a higher sugar content, drier varieties will have less sugar. Dessert wines, of course, will have the highest sugar content of all. Because grapes are some of the sweetest, most sugar-concentrated fruits, and wine is made from grapes, you will find a higher sugar content in wine than other alcoholic libations. If you are sensitive to sugar, you may break out from drinking wine—it’s not out of the question. I’ve talked a lot about my own sensitivities to sugar, and following is yet another, perhaps surprising example of how sugar, in all its many forms, can affect your body if you are sensitive to it.

A few members of my family are wine makers. They have a small vineyard on their property and make wine for their personal consumption. One of the benefits, aside from having access to wonderful wines that are home grown, is I can have them test the RS (residual sugar) in any bottle of wine. I have asked to have two different bottles of white wine tested in the past few months because I had developed canker sores in my mouth for no obvious reason. Obvious meaning I ate ice cream or had a cookie or two, which even now at 59 will cause these sores to form.

Since on these two occasions, months apart, I had really bad canker sores, I had these wines tested and sure enough: they both had a high RS. Amazing! And problem solved. Neither one of these wines tasted particularly sweet—I don’t like sweet wine—but still they both had high residual sugar and that means I simply won’t drink them. If you’ve ever had canker sores, you understand why. It’s nice to have the RS confirmed by a wine maker with all the testing tools, something that is probably not readily available to most people, but if you get blemishes or canker sores after drinking a new bottle of wine, your body’s reaction might be the only test you need.

Although I no longer get blemishes if I eat things that are sugary, I am still prone to canker sores—something I also had a lot of when I was a very young girl. Both then as a young person, well before my teenage years and now after menopause, my hormones weren’t surging and therefore I didn’t then and don’t now get blemishes. But due to my extreme sensitivity to sugar, with these high RS wines, I developed canker sores. I find this so interesting!

My experience, although just one, is an example of the power of sugar and how even though you might have grown out of skin breakouts, if you are sensitive to sugar it can and probably will still affect you throughout your life. I find this fascinating and it keeps me from eating or drinking anything that has even a modest sugar content. Except for the rare time when I just give in and let go of my normal abstinence and just live a little!

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