What women who keep slim in middle age have in common isn't a brutal gym routine or an raw-vegetable diet—it's a glass or two of wine a day. So claims a new study that followed the weight fluctuations of almost 20,000 middle-age women over 13 years and found that, while almost all the women tended to gain weight, the teetotalers gained most, and the moderate drinkers—especially of red wine—gained least.
Dieters' assumption that alcohol is fattening needs to be rethought, the researchers behind the study say. The body processes the calories in alcohol differently from those in food, turning more of the alcohol to heat and more of the food to fat. But not all alcohol is created equal: Spirits and beer pack on the pounds more than wine, especially red. That's more good news for red wine, also believed to cut heart disease risk, extend life expectancy, and even make people better at math, reports the Daily Mail.