If you gave up wine to lose weight, we have good news for you. A new study out of Spain shows that not only can red wine help you with your heart health, it may help you lose weight.
Wine Is NOT Off The Table
For years, red wine showed in studies that polyphenols and resveratrol can help with heart health. It's one of the reasons why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy.
A 2015 paper published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed just how good a healthy diet filled with fruits and vegetables could be when combined with high-quality fats, like olive oil, and moderate wine consumption. The study analyzed 7500 Spanish participants over the course of 8 years.
This was not a short-term study – it really highlighted how long-term health effects could come from a diet rich in many of the things we have been taught are bad for us. Healthy fats, wine, and small indulgences can play a part in a healthy diet.
They can produce a reduction in metabolic syndrome, which means reducing the risk factors and prevalence of things like diabetes, obesity, cholesterol.
This matches up well with a 2016 study from Brazil that showed the same thing. In the Brazilian study, wine was compared to beer and showed that beer was associated with a higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome and wine with a lower prevalence.
It comes down to the polyphenols. Resveratrol is one of those polyphenols that helps increase the rate at which the body turns fuel into heat and energy. That can help reduce the amount of cholesterol in your system, relax your blood vessels to lower blood pressure, keep fat from going into storage around your abdomen, and help maintain adequate sugar consumption, which helps diabetes.
We'll tell you exactly how much you should be drinking to get these results in a little bit.
How Do The Polyphenols Help You Lose Weight?
Red wine can also help you lose weight (that's why you're reading this, so here's the jist). What makes red wine so special is that it contains more of these healthy polyphenols than any other alcoholic drink, and in some cases, more than food itself.
The research suggests that the polyphenols in red wine help trigger the brown tissue in our bodies to increase their heat production. This brown tissue is a type of fat that supports our bodies health and metabolism rather than just makes us … well.. fat.
Additionally, the antioxidants found within red wine can help support our gut health. Antioxidants have a prebiotic effect, which helps our food digest better before it gets to our gut. Despite the alcohol that could harm the probiotics in our gut, the antioxidants and nutrients support them.
A higher-quality red wine also contains potassium and other trace minerals. They may also include a higher amount of B vitamins, especially if you obtain a homemade red wine or raw wines that still contain some of the sediment. Much of that sediment is brewer's yeast, which is extremely rich in B6, B12, and is linked to reducing cholesterol levels.
Here's How You Should Drink Your Wine
One of the limitations of the Spanish and Brazilian studies is that they focused on a population that exercise daily, walked often, and ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. In addition, many of the participants have a long history of drinking red wine. It's hard to know if this will be heart benefiting and bring weight loss results for the US population that eats the Standard American Diet.
You should not rely on drinking red wine as a means of weight control.
The study used 5 oz of red wine per day, equating to about one glass of wine. We recommend consuming it with an early dinner that consists mostly of fruits and vegetables.
Because of the fabulous results, the researchers are taking the next step and studying postmenopausal women to see if red wine can help reduce the weight gain during and after menopause. So far, the results have not been published, but early observations show that the women in the program have not increased weight or size.
If you enjoy red wine, this can help you justify a nice glass at dinner. Just remember, it has to be red wine, as the polyphenol content in white wine and rose wine is significantly reduced. If you want the benefits, a dark red wine is what you need to look for. Enjoy your glass, and let it be a great Indulgence.
PS: Having a glass of red wine with 1 oz of dark chocolate as a dessert can be a great way to get the benefits of both and feel like you're not even on a diet.