When the news broke out that wine can lower the risk for heart disease, winos everywhere rejoiced. Specifically, red wine stole the show. However, wine does not just benefit the heart. For instance, if you are on a mission to lose or manage weight, consuming wine may not be such a bad idea – or is it?
What Does Science Say About This?
In a 2015 animal study, researchers at Oregon State University looked at how wine affects overweight mice. The critters were fed a high-fat diet, causing them to develop fatty liver and diabetes – just like overweight humans would.1
However, this changed once they ate grape extract, equal to about half a cup of grapes a day, and all metabolic problems improved. Ellagic acid, a natural chemical found in grapes, also played a part. It slowed down the growth of fat cells and even suppressed new ones from forming! Blood sugar also reduced to nearly normal levels.
Problems Of Drinking Wine
Despite the research, you might not want to chug a bottle every night. There are ways that wine can work against you.
While the 2010 study saw an inverse relationship, it was from a low-to-moderate intake. This counts as no more than 30 grams of alcohol a day. Since a 4-ounce glass of wine equals 10.8 grams, 30 grams would be less than 3 glasses.4
Please note, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate intake counts as 1 drink a day for women and 2 drinks a day for men.5
The benefits of wine don’t give you a “free pass” to eat poorly. In America, wine is often served with cheese or dessert. These foods might not be the best choice, depending on your usual diet and lifestyle.
Plus, alcohol intake has a positive association with eating red meat and high-fat dairy. These foods are known for making you put on weight. Be mindful of wine pairings and pay attention to meals. It might be worth skipping that dessert.6
3. Added Sugar
Watch out for added sugar. Cheaper brands might use it to make up for low-quality grapes, alcohol content, or both. Always read the label and do your research.
The Bottom Line
Alcohol is empty calories, regardless of the form. A glass of wine offers nutrients but it’s nothing like real, whole grapes. One ounce of wine has about 21 calories. For a 5-ounce serving, that’s about 105 calories. Knocking back a few glasses boosts calories in no time.7
Other Drinks For Weight Loss
Wine is just one part of the game. To support your weight-loss journey, enjoy these healthy beverages.
When you’re hungry, have a glass of water. Thirst can disguise itself as hunger! If you’re truly hungry, you’ll know after hydrating.8 At restaurants, sip on water before your meal comes. It’ll promote fullness and prevent overeating.
2. Fruit Smoothies
Fruits are one of the best tools for weight loss. In a smoothie form, they’re easier to consume. The fiber will keep you satisfied for a long time, so you won’t feel ravenous later on.
3. Green Tea
Green tea is known for its anti-obesity effects. In a 2011 study, researchers found that it increases fat oxidation and burns energy. It can even curb your appetite, so brew yourself a cup.9
Wine isn’t in the answer to weight loss. But in moderation, it can lend a hand. Cut back on sweets and other treats to enjoy wine without the guilt.
|↑1||Szmitko, Paul E., and Subodh Verma. “Red wine and your heart.” Circulation 111, no. 2 (2005): e10-e11.|
|↑2, ↑4, ↑6||Wang, Lu, I-Min Lee, JoAnn E. Manson, Julie E. Buring, and Howard D. Sesso. “Alcohol consumption, weight gain, and risk of becoming overweight in middle-aged and older women.” Archives of internal medicine 170, no. 5 (2010): 453-461.|
|↑3||Okla, Meshail, Inhae Kang, Da Mi Kim, Vishnupriya Gourineni, Neil Shay, Liwei Gu, and Soonkyu Chung. “Ellagic acid modulates lipid accumulation in primary human adipocytes and human hepatoma Huh7 cells via discrete mechanisms.” The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 26, no. 1 (2015): 82-90.|
|↑5||Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Appendix 9. Alcohol. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.|
|↑7||Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Alcoholic Beverages. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.|
|↑8||Mattes, Richard D. “Hunger and thirst: issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking.” Physiology & behavior 100, no. 1 (2010): 22-32.|
|↑9||Rains, Tia M., Sanjiv Agarwal, and Kevin C. Maki. “Antiobesity effects of green tea catechins: a mechanistic review.” The Journal of nutritional biochemistry 22, no. 1 (2011): 1-7.|