Culture

Your Weekly 'Alcohol is Good for You!' Post

Via Runner’s World:

Talk to any dietitian about proven ways to drop a few pounds, and hitting the sauce—whether it’s béchamel or brandy—isn’t likely to be among his or her suggestions. However, your next happy hour is about to get a lot happier: It turns out there’s actual science that proves moderate drinking can give you a weight loss boost. Of course, this isn’t carte blanche to get hammered; the research also shows that moderation is key. Still, the evidence points to the fact that having a glass or two of wine, beer, or your spirit of choice may actually help keep your weight on track.

Consider one 13-year Harvard University study of more than 19,000 women, which found that those who drank two glasses of wine a day gained less weight overall and had a 70-percent reduced risk of obesity compared to non-drinkers. And just in case you think that research was conducted by a bunch of scientists who really love their rosé, another long-term study by the National Center for Disease Control looked at more than 7,000 people over 10 years and found that alcohol consumption didn’t increase the risk of obesity.

The article lists six different ways alcohol can help, and my favorite was about red wine, which I have developed a greater affinity for in the last few years:

In addition to the resveratrol and antioxidants, it turns out that red wine also contains a chemical called ellagic acid, which new research from Oregon State University found slows the growth of existing fat cells and prevents the growth of new ones, essentially helping the body burn fat better. In fact, the findings suggest that drinking red wine might even help people better manage obesity and related metabolic disorders, such as fatty liver.

Unlike last week’s post about beer that paradoxically tied its weight-loss properties to consuming an impossible amount of the stuff, the benefits mentioned here are accrued just through moderate intake.

Like all things healthy, that moderate intake does require that you be consistent:

According to one study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, women who have one or two alcoholic drinks a day are less likely to gain weight than teetotalers. Experts think it’s because our bodies somehow adapt to metabolize alcohol differently when we drink regularly versus occasionally. Researchers at the University of Denmark, who studied 43,500 people over the course of six years, found similar results: Those who drank infrequently ended up gaining weight while daily drinkers had the least amount of weight gain.

You’re welcome, America. Now I’m off to stock up for my new health regimen.