It’s hard to keep the story straight these days when it comes to foods and diets. Highly educated specialists keeps changing their narratives. Articles online dictate daily a change in the dietary wind at the drop of a hat, and the mainstream media tends to follow suit.
Sugar is bad, sugar substitutes are worse, raw sugar is good, carbs are bad… And on and on it goes–and wine is no exception to the cyclical pattern.
For years, dietary experts and wine enthusiasts have butted heads. But where do the wives’ tales end and the truth begins? Hard to say, but as far as we can tell, everyone can agree on one thing: MODERATION.
However, before we get into the age old “you can have anything as long as it’s in moderation,” there is a lot to go over, such as the common misconceptions of what is ‘healthy’ wine drinking, what actually is healthy wine drinking, and ways you can help yourself keep those delicious grape sips without losing pants that zip.
Common Wine and Dieting Myths
®” width=”300″ height=”300″ />“White wine is the best because it has less calories!”
Sometimes, and sometimes not… It all depends on the exact type of white wine you choose to sip on. According to fitness guru and Thigh Master inventor, Suzanne Summers, certain white wines, such as a buttery and sugar-filled Chardonnay, can sneakily pack on the pounds.
“I call this “Chardonnay Syndrome,” and sadly, getting sucked in can make you fat!” Summers states. “White wine is sugar, and unless you need it as instant energy, your body will store sugar as fat — along with whatever else you are eating with it.”
If you really want to enjoy a glass of white wine without worrying TOO much, try something airy and (most importantly) dry. A glass of Sauvignon Blanc, while pungent, is going to be much healthier on your hips than that saccharine white mascato.
“Red wine is worse for you than white.”
Well, the good news is that choosing between red or white doesn’t affect your waistline as much as you’ve been led to believe. As we said above, it’s way more important to select a DRY wine than it is to stick to a particular color. This means choosing a less sweet wine–sorry dessert fans!
Dry wines tend to be made with less sugary carbohydrates–and while it’s impossible to avoid sugar in wine entirely, you can help keep it to a minimum. To help keep your head in the dry-wine-game, we created this table bellow:
|Cabernet franc||0.71g carbs per ounce|
|Cabernet sauvignon||0.75g carbs per ounce|
|Merlo||0.74g carbs per ounce|
|Pinot noir||0.68g carbs per ounce|
|Shiraz/syrah||0.76g carbs per ounce|
|Zinfandel||0.84g carbs per ounce|
|Pinot blanc||0.57g carbs per ounce|
|Pinot grigio||0.60g carbs per ounce|
|Sauvignon blanc||0.60g carbs per ounce|
“People who drink wine are more likely to become obese.”
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), who conducted a 12 year plus population-based study on the correlation between wine drinking, causes of weight gain, and “improvements in insulin sensitivity”, one to two glasses of wine per day just might keep your Body Mass Index (BMI) at a healthy average! Because drinking wine makes your body more efficient at using carbs, it helps boost the fat burning process you need to stay healthy.
“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,” the JAMA Network concluded during their 12 year study.
Not convinced all the way? Check out their separate study where they found that drinking a MODERATE (there’s that word again) amount of wine may benefits diabetics (again, think about the above mentioned insulin sensitivity).
“So, what’s the gameplan? How can I drink wine and diet effectively?”
“It is possible to maintain a diet and drink wine.”
Truth: what it’s going to take is a good exercise plan, healthy food choices, and, here it comes, MODERATION.
What you need to know:
The first thing to keep in mind as you are popping that cork off your favorite Pino or Cab is the mantra of integrative medicine specialist Pamela M. Peeke, MD, author of The Hunger Fix, who states: “Drinking presses ‘pause’ on your metabolism, shoves away the other calories, and says, ‘Break me down first!'”
What you need to do:
It sure isn’t our idea of a good time, but try to compensate for the occasional drink by taking in fewer calories throughout your day. Cut out snacks, or substitute them with fruit and veggies!
- Don’t skip meals!
You need food to fuel you, and drinking on an empty stomach increases the chance of binge eating (after some impaired judgement) or even hangover eating (ie: greasy foods). If you’re out on the town with a few glasses of wine, have some good fats and protien–try some yogurt with nuts, or even hemp-butter with apple slices to keep the hunger cravings at bay and keep your healthy habits strong!
- Basic exercise!
30 minutes of cardio at least every 3 days is imperative to keeping your body strong and keeping that wine-tummy at bay! If you can, try and hit 190 mins of basic exercise per week!!
- DRINK WATER!
No matter what, hydration should be your daily goal in life, especially if you’re having alcohol–because all alcohol is a diuretic, and naturally dehydrates you. For every glass of wine you have, have a glass of water on the side! Bonus: water helps you feel full! Most hunger cravings are actually your body trying to alert you that you need water. If you’re hungry, try drinking 8 – 16 oz. of water and wait 10 full minutes to see if you’re still got those munchies.
“A little bit of wine is healthy for you.”
YES! This one we can proudly back up.
A glass (read: one to two, no more) of red wine a day is good for your heart. Also? Drinking wine during a meal or before bed ISN’T as bad for you as you’ve been told (I mean, as long as you brush your teeth…)
Leading expert Min Du, PhD, professor in the Department of Animal Sciences at Washington State University, found that the resveratrol, an antioxidant in red wine (and found in other fruits such as blueberries), as well as the fermentation process of win, can “make the antioxidant compounds easier to absorb, which can help accelerate the fat-burning process.”
Again–this is all with that magical word, MODERATION, in mind!
However, there are many unsavory compounds in wine that you do not want in your body, especially if you are losing weight.
Sulfites are preservatives found in almost every wine. They are added to boost your wine’s shelf life and make sure they don’t spoil before you get to enjoy them. However, these added chemicals cause headache and sometimes major hangovers if you’re sensitive to them. Along with the negative impact they have on your wine’s taste and overall flavor profile (think that burnt match taste lingering in your glass), certain food experts believe these sulfates might be adding to wine lovers’ weight gain.
The good news is, you can take these nasty tasting, headache causing, weight gaining chemicals out of your wine–and you don’t have to let it sit for 30 mins to an hour to do so. You can instantly take the sulfates and other bothersome compounds out of your wine by instantly introducing oxygen into your wine–for a boost in both flavor and your overall health–with the electronic wine aerator: the Waerator®.
So remember: a glass or two a day isn’t as harmful as you think. Get plenty of exercise. Drink lots and lots of water. Eat well. And consider picking yourself up a Waerator®.