On the occasion of World Obesity Day, which is affecting an increasing proportion of the world's population, we focus on a drink whose calorie content often makes it the enemy of slimming diets.
According to one report, more than half of the world's population will be considered obese by 2035. This is an alarming figure, to say the least, when you consider the damage that even a little excess weight can do to your health. With a more or less high sugar content, wines and spirits are generally banned from weight-loss diets, pointed out by specialists as an "empty" calorie intake, and should therefore be avoided or even eliminated. But not all alcohol is equal on the scale, and the forks of the nutrition experts sometimes forget that, for similar quantities, some drinks are less damaging than others in terms of keeping your figure.
Which alcohols have the most calories?
No matter what the southerners and petanque fans think, pastis has one of the highest sugar levels, with an average of 270 calories per 100 ml. Most of the most widely consumed spirits, especially in cocktails, are also in the lead, including gin, vodka, whisky and rum. Generally drunk in smaller quantities than wine, they are not very compatible with the plan to obtain or maintain a slim figure.
What are the least calorific wines?
Against all expectations, champagne is the wine with the fewest calories, at least for the driest and non-dosed wines - i.e. without added liqueur. A brut will therefore be around 70 calories per 100 ml, while a sweet wine will add up to 120 calories. If the fashion for rosé wines with an almost transparent colour and dry whites is due more to a psychological bias suggesting that they are among the lightest, the truth is quite different, since most red wines contain "only" 85 calories per 100 ml, while many rosés and white wines are slightly higher. And the fact that red wine contains resveratrol - a plant compound that is thought to boost health and prevent a certain enzyme from converting glucose into sorbitol, a sweet alcohol - makes it a good choice for a diet, if consumed sensibly.
Does drinking encourage eating more?
Because it causes a slight disinhibition, alcohol can, in some ways, encourage eating more, especially in the context of a particularly frustrating diet. There is a major paradox, however, in that a glass of wine will also have an immediate appetite-suppressant effect - especially if it is an opulent red, or a sweet white. But if we go back to the Latin origins of the word "aperitif", we find that it derives from the verb apere, i.e. "to open", and that the alcohols drunk before the meal were therefore intended to cause a drop in the glycemic index, and therefore to open the appetite.
Unsurprisingly, the answer to the question "Does wine make you lose weight?" is no, unless it is consumed as a replacement for highly calorific spirits and cocktails.