You’ve probably seen lots of claims in the news about the benefits of drinking red wine. One claim that many people are interested in is the potential for red wine to promote weight loss.
It’s no surprise that people are excited about this, but how accurate are these claims? Could having a glass of red wine daily really help you drop some pounds?
The good news is that there are reliable studies indicating the potential health benefits of red wine consumption, including its ability to help with body weight.
Drink Red Wine for Health Benefits
Maintaining general good health helps you feel good and stay active, which indirectly helps you on your weight loss journey.
Drinking in moderation only, within Canadian public health guidelines of no more than two glasses a day for women and three for men, is recommended. This gives maximum benefits, without the health problems that excess drinking can bring, such as liver inflammation.
In moderation, it may lead to excellent health benefits. Studies show it may lower cholesterol and improve heart and cardiovascular health. Small amounts of red wine help in maintaining good HDL blood cholesterol.
Drinking it in moderation seems to reduce the risk of some cancers, such as colon, basal cell, ovary and prostate cancers.
Oak aged wines additionally contain ellagic acid. Found also in green tea and oolong tea, ellagic acid prevents the development of cancer cells. Muscadine wines have the highest levels; fermentation further increases the natural levels found in Muscadine grapes (a wine grape native to the American southeast).
These benefits may be at least partially due to some key components in red wine.
It’s known to contain antioxidants, which reduce inflammation and may protect cells against free radicals, which are linked to heart disease, cancer and more.
It also contains resveratrol, which may help blood sugar control and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially for women. Resveratrol also has anti-inflammatory and anti-tumorigenic properties and may be good for heart health.
Red wine has piceatannol, which may reduce risks of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases, claim health experts.
It’s also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants, and melatonin, which may slow oxidative damage.
Drinking Red Wine and Weight Loss Benefits
There do seem to be some benefits to occasionally having a sip, but will it help you shed pounds?
A Harvard Medical School study on middle-aged women seems to indicate it may slow weight gain. The study found that women drinking red wine had a 70% reduced risk of developing obesity.
Drinking Wine and Fat Cells
Another Harvard study with Washington State University linked the polyphenol called resveratrol with losing weight. Resveratrol inhibits fat accumulation and increases brown adipose tissue thermogenesis markers. This polyphenol converts white fat (larger cells that store energy and expand as you gain weight) into obesity-fighting beige fat, which actively burns calories.
The piceatannol in red wine also blocks fat cell growth.
Red wine increases your levels of good bacteria and gut microbiota diversity in the digestive tract. This may help with stronger immunity, better digestion, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Another study indicates that one glass a day increases leptin, an appetite-controlling hormone, in women. However, other studies show drinking any wine 30 minutes before eating can increase appetite, so have your glasses of wine after your meal.
Best Wines for a Weight Loss Journey
If you are hoping to lose weight, not all wines are created equal; some are better, nutrition-wise.
Some sweet wines, especially ports, iced wine, and sherries can have as much as 160 to 220 g/L of residual sugar, so if you’re trying to lose weight, choose dryer wines, for lower sugar content, like our 2017 Hare Cabernet Merlot or 2019 Jack Rabbit Red.
Some wines have higher resveratrol levels, including merlot and cabernet sauvignon; these form the blend of our 2017 Hare Cabernet Merlot.
How Much Wine Will Help You Lose Weight?
Excessive consumption will backfire and lead to weight gain. If you’re wondering how much red wine to drink, moderate consumption is best.
Be careful to watch your serving sizes; a serving is five ounces. This will help you avoid gaining weight unintentionally from alcohol’s caloric content.
Additionally, when drinking alcohol, your body prioritizes alcohol metabolism over processing fats, sugars and carbs, slowing your metabolism. Also, alcohol can dehydrate you, while being properly hydrated boosts metabolism.
As a result, limit yourself to one drink every other night, with plenty of water, to maximize weight loss.
What About White Wine?
White wine has healthy plant compounds, but not nearly as much as red, because of the way it’s made.
Red wine’s fermentation process includes grape seeds, skins, and stems. Grape skins give red wine its colour, but more importantly, its tannins, melatonin, flavonoids, and higher resveratrol levels. Red wine has ten times the resveratrol compared to white.
Since many of red wine’s benefits appear to be linked to these compounds, this may explain its superior health effects.
Premium Canadian Reds
The Hare Wine Co produces quality, Ontario-grown wines – including reds! We craft our premium wines in small batches, resulting in some of the best red wines available, whether you’re drinking wine for weight loss, or simply enjoying a glass.