Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on March 22, 2017

Sipping on sauvignon blanc or enjoying a glass of red with dinner can be a nice way to unwind after a hectic day. While drinking wine can provide some health benefits, such as increasing your good cholesterol and reducing your odds of heart disease, alcohol also delivers empty calories and not many nutrients, which can eventually cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. 

The key with drinking (as with many things in life) is doing so in moderation. Moderate drinking is defined as having one drink -- that's 5 ounces of wine -- per day for women and two for men.

Plus, you want to choose a drink that won’t break the calorie bank. As a rule of thumb, white wines tend to be lower in calories than reds. Also, make sure your wine has a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) percentage, ideally of 11% or less. The higher the ABV, the higher the calorie count. Check out the chart below to see how your favorite wine stacks up. 


Show Sources

Rethinking Drinking: "Alcohol and Your Health."

USDA National Nutrient Database.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: "Alcohol: Balancing Risks and Benefits."

American Heart Association: "Alcohol and Heart Health."

CDC: "Fact Sheets - Alcohol Use and Your Health."

Wine Folly: "Calories in Red Wine: Do They Really Matter?"


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