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The Best Wines to Drink for Every Health Need

If you're allergic to gluten or if one glass triggers headaches, you'll want to choose a vino that minimizes those effects for you. Here's how Tory Tedrow, a registered dietitian and CNSC for the app SugarChecked, would navigate the wine list.


If you’re gluten-free…

Those who suffer from any form of Celiac disease have to really monitor each and every bite and sip, especially when something is prepared without their supervision, like at a restaurant or by a good-intentioned friend. The awesome news for those who live the gluten-free life is that wine is naturally gluten-free, says Tory Tedrow, a registered dietitian and CNSC for the app SugarChecked. The bad news? “Gluten contamination can occur during the winemaking process. Some winemakers line the aging barrels with flour or a wheat paste, or they use coloring or flavoring agents that may contain gluten,” she says. Though being mindful is never a terrible idea, Tedrow says it would only be such a small amount that unless you’re severely affected by gluten, you’ll probably be okay to have a glass or two. “Most people with gluten sensitivity can consume any type of wine without negative consequences,” she adds. You may be surprised to learn that these other foods could also be hiding gluten.


If you’re sensitive to certain ingredients…

Legumes make your stomach ache? Or dairy is definitely not your bestie (check out these signs of lactose intolerance)? Similar to gluten, other ingredients might be added during the wine aging or prep process that could be problematic if you’re tummy is finicky. “Some of the more commonly problematic ingredients include egg whites, chitosan (the exoskeleton of crustaceans), and casein. Egg whites can be used to clarify red wines while casein is used to clarify whites,” Tedrow says. If you have an egg or milk allergy, avoid accordingly, she adds. And chitosan can be used as a finishing agent in white wines, so people with shellfish allergies should stick with red.”


If you’re watching your weight…

Regardless of whether you’re going to rock a bikini in a few weeks or simply want to tone up and slim down, alcohol can easily throw a wrench in your goal-setting plans. That’s because alcohol’s star ingredient—sugar!—can encourage fat storage. If you just can’t go without a glass of wine occasionally, Tedrow says to pay more attention to the wines you choose. Specifically: Skip the reds, and opt for whites or bubbly. “Most white wines have around 140 calories per six-ounce glass, while higher-percent alcohol reds can contain up to 200 calories a glass. Europe has stricter alcohol laws, so their wines tend to be lower in alcohol, and therefore, calories too,” she explains. “When it comes to champagne, Brut Natural and Extra Brut varieties contain the least amount of added sugar and calories. A four-ounce flute contains about 100 calories.”


If you’re training for a big race or big event…

In addition to the anxiety that builds before a big adventure—from a marathon to walking down the aisle—your thirst for relieving said stress grows too. Unfortunately, it’s a double-whammy: Wine might make you relax and calm down, but it’ll also put a dent in your training schedule, or possibly, a few pounds away from fitting into your wedding gown or bridesmaid dress. “If you’re serious about training for an event, you will want to avoid alcohol for the most part,” Tedrow says. Any type of wine is going to dehydrate your body, which will decrease performance. But, if you do want to reward yourself after your first double-digit training run or finally agreeing on the guest list with your husband-to-be, Tedrow says think about quality over quantity. “If you do drink, choose your favorite type and savor a single glass,” she says.


If you’re easily hungover…

Blame it on your age, your size, or your inability to turn down another round of anything, but hangovers happen. However, if you’ve found yourself spending many a Sunday morning praying for your headache to go away, Tedrow says you might want to reevaluate what you’re drinking, how much, and the quality of the stuff. “If you’re easily hungover, you probably shouldn’t consume any alcohol or limit yourself to just a drink or two” she explains. “If you really want to drink, stick with white wine, as red wine contains congeners—a byproduct of fermentation that gives certain alcohols their deep colors (think brandy or red wine) and tend to heighten hangover symptoms.” Here’s how to cure a hangover naturally.