Curb Holiday Weight Gain with Red Wine

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First we learn that champagne is good for the heart, and now a physician is telling us that red wine can help curb holiday weight gain. Richard Baxter, MD, author of the new book Age Gets Better with Wine: New Science For a Healthier, Better & Longer Life, says enjoying a moderate amount of red wine during the holiday season may prevent weight gain.

Scores of studies have explored the impact of resveratrol, the highly celebrated antioxidant that is abundant in red wine, on obesity, metabolism, blood sugar levels, inflammation, cholesterol, and cancer. In a 2008 study, for example, German scientists found that resveratrol inhibited pre-fat cells from increasing and converting into mature fat cells, and that the antioxidant also prevented fat storage. The study’s lead author, Pamela Fischer-Posovszky, PhD, noted that “resveratrol has anti-obesity properties by exerting its effects directly on the fat cells.”

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Dr. Baxter highlights the research related to blood sugar levels and metabolism that have an impact on weight gain. He notes that while wine, including red wine, is not low in calories, it also does not contain the amount of sugar calories associated with many mixed drinks and that “calories from alcohol avoid the spike in blood sugar that contributes to weight gain.”

Dr. Baxter says that moderate consumption of red wine on a daily basis during the holiday season can “lessen the negative effects of high-fat holidays meals, and help keep blood sugar levels in check.” He notes that these are a few of the reasons why people who drink wine “are less likely to be overweight.”

Several other words of advice from Dr. Baxter concerning red wine: older vintage wines are more beneficial, and wine should be consumed in moderation. Some other ways (not from Dr. Baxter) to curb holiday weight gain include walking more (especially between meals and with family and friends), filling up on raw, crunchy vegetables instead of cheese and other fatty snacks, enjoying no-calorie flavored waters rather than soft drinks, and chewing sugar-free gum when tempted to overeat sweets.

SOURCES:
Dr. Richard Baxter
The Endocrine Society (2008, June 17). Red Wine's Resveratrol May Help Battle Obesity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2009,

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