Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Does Wine Make You Fat?

For anyone thinking "yes, if you drink it with cheesecake" I want you to know that was a lowfat cheesecake featured in Taster A's previous post, and it was damn good if I do say so myself. I am not posting the recipe because it's an America's Test Kitchen recipe (slightly altered) and you can get it there. I just replaced some sugar with xylitol and used really good Greek yogurt instead of standard yogurt. I also used ricotta instead of cottage cheese.

Anyway, for me, I'm afraid the answer is yes: Wine does make me fat. I know there are a lot of articles out there that tout the health benefits of wine which I can't deny. And certainly compared to the average American diet, a Mediterranean diet rich in good fats, and antioxidants from olive oil and wine is a heck of a lot better for maintaining your weight than fast food and hard liquor. Sadly for me, if I add one glass of red wine per day to my diet, I gain weight. Taster A is the opposite (lucky duck!) which corroborates with findings from a study published in the Journal of the American College of Medicine1 which concluded the addition of two glasses of red wine to the evening meal does not appear to influence any measured variable which may adversely affect body weight or promote the development of obesity.

However, there is research to back up my personal observation: In an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition2, the researchers concluded that moderate alcohol consumption in the form of red wine and other beverages is associated with beneficial changes in blood lipids and fibrinogen that may help to reduce the CV risk factors, but that the body weight may increase.

The most notable difference between these studies being that the first referenced was conducted entirely on male subjects, and the second was done with a mix of genders with the majority being female. So in conclusion, I will continue to enjoy a glass of wine on the weekends but I may not post Tasting Notes as prolifically as I would like. The good news is wine does make my cheeks nice and rosy.

1. Cordain, L, et al. "Influence of moderate daily wine consumption on body weight regulation and metabolism in healthy free-living males." Journal Of The American College Of Nutrition 16.2 (Apr. 1997): 134-139. MEDLINE with Full Text. EBSCO.

2. Hansen, A S, et al. "Effect of red wine and red grape extract on blood lipids, haemostatic factors, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease." European Journal Of Clinical Nutrition 59.3 (Mar. 2005): 449-455. MEDLINE with Full Text.


Morgan K said...

I've been drinking plenty of red lately, just because I like the taste. However, I don't like the extra kilos (pounds?) that have amounted all over my body! Ah well.. I guess I'll give up the plonk...or maybe just keep it to weekends ;)

Taster B said...

I'm cutting back lately too. I'm not so worried about wine=calories cuz I can just skip dessert but, I understand alcohol also inhibits metabolism. Right now, I'm trying jump start my metabolism for summer--then maybe I can go back to being a lush. :)