Can Wine Help You Lose Weight? — Wine 101
Wine is many things: a nice way to relax, something to share with friends, a perfect complement to a well-cooked meal. But what you don’t often hear is that wine can also be part of a healthy diet.
While many of us who are dieting think that we need to cut wine out of our diet completely, there are a few reasons you should reconsider that plan. Reducing your intake of alcohol might certainly be in order, but there is a lot of medical evidence that shows that moderate alcohol consumption can be healthy. Even beyond the proven medical implications of drinking wine, there are several factors that argue in favor of incorporating wine into a reduced calorie diet!
Wine & Weight: The Science
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that, “Compared with nondrinkers, initially normal-weight women who consumed a light to moderate amount of alcohol gained less weight and had a lower risk of becoming overweight and/or obese during 12.9 years of follow-up.” This particular study seems to point to women having the ability to balance wine with food appropriately.
Yet another study by the Journal of Biological Chemistry published this past March revealed that a chemical found in red wine called piceatonnal may block the formation of fat cells. The research is still in its preliminary stages, but those who took part in the study experienced an 80 percent decrease in fat cell formation when they took piceatonnal.
Of course, there are many components that might have influenced these two results. But there may be a few other factors at work here.
Tannins Can Be Filling
Tannins are one of the fundamental components of wine, red wines in particular. They add structure to the wine giving it that mouth puckering, drying quality.
Now imagine what happens in your stomach when you enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. Those same tannins work their magic on the lining of the stomach, drawing it a little tighter and perhaps making you feel more full before you’ve eaten your first bite.
Sip and Savor
Eating too fast can lead to overeating because you may not notice you’re full until you’ve finished everything in front of you. The key to recognizing when you’re full is to slow down your eating. There are many ways to do that, from chewing thoroughly to having several small courses during a meal instead of one big one, but adding a glass of wine to your meal might help as well.
I’m not suggesting you add wine for wine’s sake, as something simply to wash down your meal. Instead, add a glass of wine and take the time to learn about the wine throughout the meal. Taste it, consider it and learn how it works with your meal, and you might just add enough time to let your belly’s mind tell your brain to stop eating before you’re stuffed.
It’s Okay to Indulge … in Moderation
Cutting down on wine may seem like a sacrifice. But making really good wine an occasional indulgence and cutting mediocre wine out of your diet may be more satisfying than you’d think. Just like a single square of amazing chocolate is far better than an entire bar of average chocolate, a single glass of your favorite wine is better than an entire bottle of wine about which you’re ambivalent. (And remember, you can always save a half-empty bottle of wine for later: click here for tips on how to do that!)
This kind of logic also applies to pairing a great wine with a delicious meal. By putting this amount of thought into an occasional meal, you’re already thinking about the food you eat. While it may not be the most scientific method, having this appreciation and respect for what you eat and drink helps you to identify the foods that might not be worth your time.
In the end, whether wine can be part of your diet should be up to you. If you feel that you can balance your alcohol intake with the food you eat, give it a try.
– Gregory Dal Piaz, Snooth.com
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