Pirates of the Caribbean star Keira Knightley claims her diet consists of pasta and a half bottle of wine a night for dinner. If you're not blessed with her amazing metabolism and 5-feet-8-inch frame, you probably shouldn't be drinking like a pirate every night -- unless, of course, you want more booty.
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However, adding a glass a night with dinner won't pack on the pounds, and it could help you live a healthier, happier life while aiding on your weight-loss voyage. In the book The Wine Lover's Healthy Weight Loss Plan, Dr. Tedd Goldfinger and chef Lynne Nicholson give you the information and tools necessary to integrate wine into your diet -- and lose weight while doing so.
"It's a natural way of eating that allows you results that are clear without the feeling like you're on a diet," Goldfinger says. "It's a common sense approach: Eat less but eat better, in turn, be healthier and more resistant to disease. It's a lifestyle change."
He says the book illustrates a way for Americans to employ the Mediterranean diet in everyday life. Respecting food, not overeating, using fresh ingredients and eating more seafood and whole grains are the keys to the wine lover's plan, Goldfinger says.
"It's about finding freshness and avoiding processed foods," he says. "There's a need for cultural change -- going from cheap and easy meals to doing what's right for a longer, more satisfying life... It's a common sense weight-loss plan."
Eat, Drink and Be Healthy
Drinking wine can make you feel sexy, sophisticated and relaxed, but how can it lengthen your life? And which wines are best for your health?
"Try different things to find what you like," he says. "Dry red wines have the most health benefits with their high levels of tannins and pigments, which are great antioxidants. However, alcohol represents about half of the health benefits of wine, so a lot of the benefits overlap."
He clarifies that red wine has more specific benefits for preventing pulmonary disease, while whites may have a better effect on the gastrointestinal system and lungs. But there are so many similarities that you should find what you like and never be afraid to try new things.
"It's not just for your physical health, but also for your mental health. Wine stimulates brain activity and prevents Alzheimer's, as well as other cognitive degeneration. It enhances the meal and the experience -- like taking a little vacation every night."