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5 Ways Wine Can Be A Part Of A Healthy Diet

You don't often hear it, but wine can be part of a healthy diet.
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2012-11-06-healthywine.jpgWine is many things: a nice way to relax, something to share with friends, a perfect complement to a well-cooked meal. But what you don't often hear is that wine can also be part of a healthy diet.

While many of us who are dieting think that we need to cut wine out of our diet completely, there are a few reasons you should reconsider that plan. Reducing your intake of alcohol might certainly be in order, but there is a lot of medical evidence that shows that moderate alcohol can be healthy. Even beyond the proven medical implications of wine consumption, there are several factors that argue in favor of incorporating wine into a reduced calorie diet!

Scientific Studies About Wine

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that, "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 and/or obese during 12.9 years of follow-up." This particular study seems to point to women having the ability to balance wine with food appropriately.

Yet another study by the Journal of Biological Chemistry published this past March revealed that a chemical found in red wine called piceatonnal may block the formation of fat cells. The research is still in its preliminary stages but those who took part in the study experienced an 80% decrease in fat cell formation when they took piceatonnal.

Of course, there are many components that might have influenced these 2 results. But there may be a few other factors at work here.

Tannins Can Be Filling

Tannins are one of the fundamental components of wine, and red wines in particular. They add structure to the wine giving wine that mouth puckering, drying quality. That puckering quality is the astringent action of the tannins on the lining of your mouth. It literally draws the skin tightly together.

Now imagine what happens in your stomach when you enjoy a glass of wine before dinner. Those same tannins work their magic on the lining of the stomach, drawing it a little tighter and perhaps making you fell more full before you've eaten your first bite.

More often than not, tannins are found in red wines, such as pinot noir, syrah or merlot, which also have the added benefit of antioxidants.

A Glass of Wine Helps You Savor a Meal

Eating too fast can lead to over-eating because you may not notice you're full until you've finished everything in front of you. The key to recognizing when you're full is to slow down your eating. There are many ways to do that, from chewing thoroughly to having several small courses during a meal instead of one big one, but adding a glass of wine to your meal might help as well.

I'm not suggesting you add wine for wine's sake, as something simply to wash down your meal. Instead, add a glass of wine and take the time to learn about the wine throughout the meal. Taste it, consider it and learn how it works with your meal, and you might just add enough time to let your belly's mind tell your brain to stop eating before you're stuffed.

Wine Lovers Appreciate Small Indulgences

Cutting down on wine may seem like a sacrifice. But making really good wine an occasional indulgence and cutting mediocre wine out of your diet may be more satisfying than you'd think. Just like a square of amazing chocolate is far better than an entire bar of average chocolate, a single glass of your favorite wine is better than an entire bottle of wine about which you don't feel that strongly.

This kind of logic also applies to pairing a great wine with a delicious meal. By putting this amount of thought into an occasional meal, you're already thinking about the food you eat. While it may not be the most scientific method, having this appreciation and respect for what you eat and drink helps you to identify the foods that might not be worth your time.

In the end, whether wine can be part of your diet should be up to you. If you feel that you can balance your alcohol intake with the food you eat, give it a try.

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