Posts Tagged ‘Diet’

Watch that waistline...

Watch that waistline…

 

You’re a pro at checking labels at the grocery store, but when you hit the liquor store for a bottle of wine, nutrition facts are nowhere to be found. Luckily, armed with some basic knowledge, you can easily figure out which wines are the best buys for your bikini body as well as your palette. We spoke with wine expert Madeline Puckette, cofounder of Wine Folly, who shared her best tips for finding great-tasting wines that won’t derail your diet.

1. Check the ABV. While there are no actual nutrition labels on bottles of wine, there is one indicator you can use to approximate calories: the Alcohol by Volume (ABV) percentage. ABVs can range from 9 percent for low-alcohol wines up to 17 percent for some dry wines. “Aim for an ABV that’s between 9 to 12 percent, which equals 110 to 140 calories per six-ounce pour,” Puckette says. The amount of alcohol in wine has more influence on calorie count than carbs, since alcohol has seven calories per gram, while carbs (i.e. sugars) have four. So a lower-alcohol wine has fewer calories than higher-alcohol wines, independent of the amount of sugar. (Check out Wine Folly’s helpful infographic, below.)

2. Buy European. “A smart tip to keep in mind is to look for European wines from regions like Italy, France, and Germany,” Puckette says. These countries tend to have stricter laws and regulations on alcohol content in wines than America, so European wines tend to be lower in alcohol and, hence, calories. “Also try to avoid wines grown in warmer regions like Chile or Australia, where higher sugar content in grapes converts to higher ABV in wines,” she adds.

3. Stick with white. In general, white wines tend to be lower in alcohol and calories than reds. “While light whites have around 140 calories or less per six-ounce glass, a light red has between 135 to 165 calories, while a higher-alcohol red like pinot noir or syrah can have up to 200 in a glass,” Puckette says. Light white varieties such as Riesling, pinot grigio, and vinho verde have fewer calories than whites with higher ABVs like moscato, Chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and viognier.

 

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Americans tend to eat more calories and fat on the days they also have alcoholic drinks, a new study suggests.

“Food choices changed on the days that people drank… and changed in an unhealthier direction for both men and women,” said Rosalind Breslow, a nutritional epidemiologist at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and the lead author of the study.

She said the new information gives people an opportunity to be more aware of what they’re eating on the days they imbibe.

In a previous study, Breslow found people who drink more tend to have poorer diets in general, compared to those who drink less. For the current research, she and her colleagues looked at volunteers’ diets on both the days they drank and the days they abstained.

The data came from a large U.S. health and lifestyle survey conducted in 2003 through 2008.

More than 1,800 people answered a diet questionnaire on two days within a 10-day span – one day when they drank and another when they did not. When people did imbibe, they had an average of two to three alcoholic beverages at a time, most commonly beer and wine.

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With around 20% of Americans on a diet, low-calorie wine brands are booming in the US, and particularly where celebrities are involved.
Kick-starting the trend was Skinnygirl, which, as previously reported by db, was a label created in 2009 initially for ready-made cocktails by chef, author and TV star Bethenny Frankel.

The brand now also includes a range of three wines, which were added to the line-up in March 2012 (following the sale of the label to Fortune Brands/Beam for US$8.1 million in March 2011).

More recently, in January this year, former Foster’s wine division Treasury Wine Estates launched The Skinny Vine in the US, backed up by Christine Avanti, a celebrity nutritionist and author of Skinny Chicks Eat Real Food (pictured, left).

According to the company, the new product has already sold 100,000 cases, half the quantity sold by Skinnygirl wines in its first year, although The Skinny Vine is cheaper, with an RRP of US$11 compared to Skinnygirl’s $15 per bottle.

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Red wine is good for you!

A natural ingredient found in red wine, resveratrol, can help fight off diseases associated with age, a new study shows.
Resveratrol, found in the skin of grapes, has long been touted for its anti-ageing properties.
Researchers are studying this natural compound to help them design better anti-aging drugs.
They think it works by increasing the activity of sirtuins, a family of proteins found throughout the body, which are believed to combat diseases related to getting older, like type 2 diabetes, cancer or Alzheimer’s. Specifically, resveratrol increases the activity of SIRT1, which acts to make our mitochondria — the cell part that turns food into energy in our cells — more efficient, the study says.
The direct link between resveratrol and the SIRT1 protein has been made before, both by the lead author of this latest paper, Harvard genetics professor David Sinclair, and others.
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It’s not the end of soda — yet. But soft drinks have peaked, while bottled water, energy drinks, and a considerable amount of premium alcohol are taking their place in our liquid diet.
One hundred and eighty gallons. It’s enough to fill 11 kegs, four bath tubs, or just one big aquarium. It’s also how much liquid you drink ever year.

The question is: 180 gallons of what?

American drinking habits have undergone a major shift in the last decade. Throughout the 1990s, soft drinks made up nearly a third of the typical Americans’ liquid diet. But in the last ten years, we’ve cut our soda consumption by 16 percent. Meanwhile, we now drink more than 50 percent more bottled water than we did in 2001 — and twice as many energy drinks.

“Soft drinks peaked around 1998,” said Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst from Morningstar. The big winners in the last decade have been bottled waters, sports drinks, wines, and then spirits, “which have picked up a quarter of a gallon per person in the last decade,” Mullarkey said, before adding, “that is a lot of extra alcohol.”

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A CDC survey reports alcohol drinkers consume more calories than recommended, lumping wine in with soda

how-to-loose-belly-fat

Just when Americans are drinking and making merry at holiday parties and dinners, a new survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that alcoholic beverages may be adding extra calories to our waistlines. But is it simplistic to lump wine, beer and spirits in with sugary sodas?

Published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the survey finds that the average consumer of alcoholic beverages takes in more than their daily-recommended intake for the kinds of calories that come from added sugars, a category that includes beer, wine and spirits. But some experts argue that the survey paints with too broad a brush.

For the survey, the authors examined data from the long-running National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which involved more than 11,000 people across the country over the age of 20 who provided details on the foods and drinks they consumed in a typical day. The good news is drinkers don’t pass the calorie threshold by much. The survey finds that, on average, Americans who drink daily take in 16 percent of their calories in the form of added sugar. The recommended intake is between 5 percent and 15 percent.

The authors calculated that 12.5 ounces of wine contains roughly 150 calories. So, if drinking in moderation, a man could consume up to… read on

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  • The Big 5 reasons why people should drink wine! (By Johan Botha)

Healthy reasons to drink wine.

Healthy reasons to drink wine.

American actor Will Rogers (1879 – 1935) once jokingly commented on the ill effects of drinking wine by saying; “Wine had such ill effects on Noah’s health that it was all he could do to live 950 years. Show me a total abstainer that ever lived that long.”

Is there any truth behind his ironic statement?

We must not, however, confuse the reasons why people drink wine with the benefits of drinking wine. Alcohol, including wine, is being consumed by people for various reasons. It can be related to social, emotional, religious, physical and/or psychological factors.

Some common reasons why people drink wine, include:
Wine can be drunk as an alternative to say water, to quench one’s thirst.
Wine can be used before a meal to improve one’s appetite.
Drinking wine during a meal can enhance and complement the flavour of food.
Wine can be serve to make social gatherings more memorable, and
Wine can be enjoyed to help people unwind and produce a state of euphoria.

Let’s try and put the drinking of wine in a historical perspective. According to Satoshi Kanazawa; “human consumption of alcohol was unintentional, accidental, and haphazard until about 10,000 years ago. The intentional fermentation of fruits and grain to yield ethanol arose only recently in human history. The production of wine, which requires a large amount of grapes, could not have taken place before the advent of agriculture around 8,000 BC and the consequent agricultural surplus. Archeological evidence dates the production of wine to Mesopotamia at about 6,000 BC.”

Every year, numerous medical reports and headlines are being published about the health benefits of drinking wine in moderation. But is drinking wine really healthy? In short, the answer is yes!

Thanks to both its alcohol content and non-alcoholic plant derivatives, wine has been found to reduce both heart disease and some cancers. It can also slow down neurological degenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. As more studies are being undertaken, wine’s list of benefits is getting more surprising by the day. New findings even dictate that wine taken in moderation can help with weight loss, reduce forgetfulness, boost your immunity and help prevent bone loss.

According to health practitioners the world over, the amount of wine you drink must be taken into account. By drinking more than the medical recommendation, the health benefits are lost and the risk to your health my even rise!

Here’s what’s considered safe and effective:
Men:  300 ml or two glasses of red or white wine per day.
Women: 150 ml or one glass of red or white wine per day.
Now that that is settled, let’s look at the Big 5 Reasons the Modern Health Conscience Consumer Should Drink Wine:

Benefit 1 : Longevity 
Maybe Noah’s 950 years is a bit optimistic, but the compound resveratrol, found in red wine, has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies. A recent Finnish study has shown a 34% lower mortality rate than those that partake of both wine and spirits.

Benefit 2 : A healthy heart 
Red wine has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease drastically, thanks to the anti-oxidants, like
procyanidin, it contains. Creina Stockley, Australian Wine Research Institute manager of health and regulatory information, says; “People that drink a moderate amount of wine regularly, particularly with food, have a 30 per cent reduced risk of heart diseases.”

Benefit 3 : Reduce the risk of various cancers 
Clinical pharmacologists have found that the phenolic compounds found in wine work by preventing the initiation, progression and growth of cancer cells in the human body. Studies show that moderate wine consumption reduces Lung Cancer by 13%, Prostate Cancer by 50%, Colon Cancer by 45% and has risk-reducing effects on instances of Breast Cancer.

Benefit 4 : Feed the mind 
Wine can preserve your memory and therefore drinking wine in moderation does not necessarily spell killed brain cells. Researchers, doing studies on memory retention, found that respondents who drank one glass of wine every day scored much better than those who drank less or not at all. Wine may also reduce your risk of developing certain dementias, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Benefit 5 : Helps with weight control 
Research has found that people drinking wine daily and in moderation have lower body mass than those who drink on occasion only. Moderate wine drinkers have narrower waists and less abdominal fat than people who drink liquor. Alcohol may encourage your body to burn extra calories for as long as 90 minutes after you down a glass.

Now that we have a better understanding of all the health benefits of wine, lets further reward our bodies with some wholesome food!

As a perfect accompaniment to a chilled glass of white wine, and to enjoy as a light lunch, I chose this simple, yet deliciously healthy salad from the land of the “bean-eaters”.

Tuscan Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad

Lets raise a glass to good health!