How much sugar is hidden in your glass of wine? It’s more than you think

A lot of people believe that a glass of wine is harmless, even drinking it daily as a healthy concession to an alcohol habit. But as it turns out, even just one glass of wine at 175 milliliters can contain up to two teaspoons of sugar, a considerable fraction of the recommended daily sugar intake, according to a report on

Red wine contains the least amount of sugar, with just 0.9 grams per glass, while white wine has 1.4 grams. As expected, dessert wines — which include champagnes and sparkling rosés — have the highest amount of sugar: A whopping seven grams. Take note that one teaspoon of sugar is equivalent to around four grams. The American Heart Association recommends that women take no more than six teaspoons of sugar a day, and men take no more than nine teaspoons. This means that two or three glasses could account for a person’s entire daily intake. Added sugars, such as those found in wine, has contributed to the growing epidemic of obesity among Americans, the association said.

On the calorie front, wine also packs an unhealthy punch. A 177 milliliter serving of red wine with an alcohol content of 13.5 percent to 16 percent ABV could contain up to 195 calories. This includes dry red wines such as Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Once again, sweet dessert wine clock in with the highest amounts, containing up to 275 calories for every 177 milliliter glass.

While it’s no secret that alcohol is something you should cut on if you’re on a health binge, wine has managed to remain exempt because of the common notion that it promotes heart health and contains many antioxidants. This notion was recently called into question with England’s top doctor saying that the negative effects of a glass of wine can negate any benefits it may have. Changing alcohol regulations that have been in place for two decades, England’s Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies released a report that details the many previously-ignored dangers of drinking wine. The report by Davies said that even just one glass of red wine per day could increase the risk for breast cancer, a separate article on said.

The article argued, however, that Davies’ report and the new alcohol regulations ignored hundreds of medical studies that show the benefits of alcohol. For instance, certain clinical trials have shown that alcohol increases HDL, which is considered a good cholesterol. At the same time, it reduces blood clotting and inflammation, which are linked to heart disease. Those who drink moderately were also found to have a lower risk of dementia, stroke, arthritis, kidney stones, and prostate problems, among others.

In addition, the article cited a study done by the Canadian Addiction Research Foundation. In the study, researchers fed mice with plain water, as well as water mixed with varying amounts of alcohol that ranged from low to moderate to a maximum, but still tolerable, amount. The results saw that the first group of rats to die where those who took water mixed with the lowest dose of alcohol. They were followed by those who had the highest amounts of alcohol, and then by the mice who drank moderately. This suggests that moderate drinkers may actually live longer than both heavy drinkers or those who don’t drink at all.

At any rate, given the surprising amount of sugar in wine, it may still be wise to think twice about swigging that extra glass of wine or splitting a bottle for dinner.

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