Even if you enjoy a glass of wine once in a while (and reap some of the amazing health benefits), drinking too much of it will always have its consequences. Especially if you choose the wrong kind of wine for your health.
Like anything we ingest, there's a nutritional range when it comes to wine—some pours are less harmful to health than others. But when speaking with nutritionists, we cut right to the chase—which type of wine should we be avoiding at all costs?
The resounding answer was Zinfandel.
As Jenni Bourque, RHN, of DNA Lean explains, "I would definitely recommend steering clear of high-sugar/ fruity wines this summer if you are looking to lose weight or stay healthy."
Zinfandel, which according to Bourque can have up to 14 grams of sugar per glass, is at the top of the do-not-drink list. (Related: 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked by How Toxic They Are)
"The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that women contain only 24 grams of sugar a day," Bourque continued, "meaning that two glasses of high-sugar wine can surpass the RDA and also leave you with headaches and feeling dehydrated the next day."
Trista Best, MPH, RD, LD from Balance One Supplements, agreed—and offered another reason to keep the cork on the Zinfandel this summer. In general, she says, "wines made with a high amount of sulfites should be avoided. This includes most wines and especially those made with excess sugar, like Zinfandels."
Best went on to explain that sulfites are "chemical compounds often used to enhance many characteristics of wine, along with other products." While they have been known to make wine look better, taste better, and last longer, they can cause headaches, diarrhea, swelling, and stomach pain. The only problem, here? The number of sulfites in a glass can be hard to track.
Checking sugar content, on the other hand, is simply a matter of reading the label or doing a quick Google. Along with Zin, Bourque recommends staying away from these three highly sweet wines: port, Moscato, and riesling.
The health factor here is staggering: Franzia's Moscato, for example, packs 135 calories and a whopping 11 grams of sugar per glass. According to all of our expert accounts, stay away.
"Being mindful of sugar consumption, especially when it comes to alcohol consumption, can help minimize hangovers, as well as assist with weight loss, hormone balance, and inflammation reduction," Bourque concluded.
Instead of sweet wines, she recommends enjoying organic, low-sugar brands like Bonterra, Whitehaven, and Frogs Leap this summer (in moderation, of course!) Or try one of these 8 Best Low-Calorie Wines for Weight Loss.