Red wine has many health benefits. However, since many people fear the calories in red wine, they stay away from it. One of the reasons that red wine is good for you is because of the tannins that are found in the wine. These tannins have antioxidants, which raise the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and at the same time, lower the amounts of LDL (bad cholesterol).
Although I’m no research scientist, I did look to some for answers about the calories in red wine. Which do you think has more calories, red wine or white wine? Well, the answer is neither. Wine color makes no difference in the calories count.
If that is the case, then why do some wines have more calories than others? The answer is, that primarily, the alcohol level affects the amount of calories. If you take a 4oz sample, you will see that a wine that is 16% alcohol has roughly 160-190 calories, while a wine that is 12% alcohol is roughly 120 calories. Even the sugar content in wines is not as important as the alcohol content. Sugar only provides about 4 calories per gram, whereas alcohol provides about 7 calories per gram.
If a person were concerned about the calories in red wine, wouldn’t a bottle of Moscato d’Asti have a lot of sugar and therefore a lot of calories? Not exactly, since that type of wine only has around a five and a half percent alcohols content, it would still be considered a lower calories red wine. It is the zinfandels and some of the California chardonnays that have higher alcohol contents that will be much higher in calories.
Your still asking, should people watching their weight cut out red wine? No, the calories in red wine are balanced out by the health benefits. Research has proven that a moderate amount of red wine during weight loss can actually act as an appetite suppressant. This effect is due in part to both the pectin and the alcohol content. Overly tannic red wines (usually immature wines) can negate this effect. Accordingly, you should always look for a wine that is under 12% alcohol and not very tannic.
Now, you are probably saying, I thought that the tannins are what made the red wine healthy. Yes indeed, that is true, tannins are what add the health benefits to red wine, however, if you are concerned with the calories in red wine, then you may not have the appetite suppressant effect with a tannic wine.
The bottom line like most things in life is moderation. Whether you choose a slightly more tannic wine and forego the suppressant effect, or opt for the low alcohol, less tannic wine and get the benefit of an appetite suppressant, you should not forgo the wine altogether. The health benefit of a glass of red wine a couple of times a week, well outweighs the few calories you take in. Maybe walking to the store to buy the wine is a good idea.
Click here for more information on how to get rid of the fear of calories in red wine.