Many dieters know that red wine consumption has been linked to lower cardiovascular risk and weight loss. Some evidence suggests that this benefit extends to white wine as well. Drinking a light or moderate amount of white wine may help you shed extra pounds. Other effects of wine consumption may negate these weight loss benefits, however. Talk to a doctor before beginning to drink wine for health reasons, because alcohol consumption may not be safe for you.
Weight Loss Effects
Wine contains antioxidants called epicatechin, quercitin and resveratrol. These compounds lower levels of cholesterol and disease-causing free radicals. The beneficial antioxidants in wine may also promote weight loss and smaller waist circumference in women. One or two drinks of white wine per day are an appropriate amount to confer this health benefit.
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Although the antioxidants in white wine are associated with weight loss, wine contains a relatively high number of calories. A 5-ounce glass of white wine contains 121 calories. Drinking two glasses of wine per day adds about 1,700 calories to your diet each week. Without restricting food intake or exercising more frequently, the additional calories in wine would cause you to gain two pounds per month. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports that 3,500 calories equals one pound, so just two weeks of 2 glasses of wine per day will start putting the weight on you.
Drinking white wine lowers your inhibitions, which may cause you to eat more than you normally would. Carefully monitor your food intake at each meal to ensure that you do not overeat. If you have white wine with a meal, eat slowly to give your body enough time to recognize when you are full.
While some evidence suggests that white wine may help you lose weight, environmental factors also play a role. People who drink light to moderate amounts of wine tend to be of a higher socioeconomic status. Better access to health care, healthier diet choices or overall good health may drive the weight loss associated with wine consumption.
Moderate drinking is defined by the USDA as 1 drink daily for women and no more than 2 for men. Drinking more than that may increase your risk for heart disease and breast cancer, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. One drink a day increases a woman's risk of breast cancer by 10 percent, and another 10 percent for each drink after that.
- Reuters: Wine May Help Women Keep Weight in Check
- The Facts About Fitness: Why Alcohol Calories Are More Important Than You Think
- Ask the Dietician: Alcohol
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: How Can I Lose Weight?
- Aim Digest: Red Wine Versus White Wine -- Is There A Health Benefit?
- National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: Women and Alcohol