We get it: You want to diet, but you don’t want to give up your precious wine. What’s a wine lover to do? Easy: indulge in these diet-friendly wines for keto, DASH, paleo, etc.
Much has been written on the effectiveness of dieting, and let’s face it, the jury’s still out. However, when it comes to short-term dieting commitments, having a plan with some hard and fast rules can help jump-start your health goals. Plus, it can be fun to mix things up for a little while. We change our hair, we change our nails, why not change our eating habits for a while?
No matter which diet you’re trying out, we’ve got you covered with some wine recommendations.
How it Works
Similar to the Atkins diet that your Aunt Kathy tried 20 years ago, the Keto diet challenges you to eat very low-carb and high-fat foods. Taking carbs out of the equation puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. How do you know if you’re in ketosis? You simply pee on a stick a few times a day because you’re a scientist now and your test subject is your own body. Feel free to start wearing a lab coat.
The rules are that you can eat meat, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, eggs, dairy (did somebody say cheese boards?!), avocados, and low-carb veggies. In exchange for those treats, you have to avoid bread, starch, fruit (tragedy), sugar, legumes, and starchy vegetables.
The wine you drink on Keto should be low-carb. Ideally, a very dry wine (aka no residual sugar) with calories coming purely from alcohol would be your best bet. While it’s hard to find a zero-carb wine, a full-bodied California Cabernet Sauvignon is a good bet. Cabernet is 123 calories per glass and pairs well with all of the meat and stews you may find yourself eating on Keto. If you prefer white wine, a low-carb unoaked Chardonnay (also 123 calories) can also help #KeepYouKeto. Plus, it goes nicely with this Keto-approved salmon and avocado salsa.
How it Works
The Mediterranean diet became popular when people started looking across the pond and saying, “Wow, these people look great! You’re telling me they live into their 90s AND they enjoy a glass of wine with dinner? Sign me up!” This observation wasn’t wrong – research suggests that a Mediterranean diet can lead to a longer life and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Here are the general guidelines of the Mediterranean diet: You can eat fish and other seafood like it’s going out of style. Veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, olive oil, and whole grains are all good. You can eat chicken and eggs occasionally, and red meat rarely. You have to avoid added sugar, processed foods, and other kinds of oils. Basically, if you can picture yourself eating it at a small seaside café along the Amalfi Coast, it’s in. Capiche?
Since you’ll be indulging in a smorgasbord of seafood on the Mediterranean diet, keep a bottle of sparkling rosé nearby. Coming in at 130 calories, sparkling rosé is a fresh, zippy palette cleanser alongside dishes like this pan-seared salmon over salad. Abiding by the adage “what grows together, goes together,” you could also look at Greek wines like Assyrtiko, a 90-calorie dry white wine that pairs well with baked lemony chicken.
How it Works
Short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, the DASH Diet is often used to lower high blood pressure. Less stringent than some other diets, the DASH Diet lets you eat whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, and even allows for red meat and sweets in small amounts.
If you’re dashing toward the DASH diet, check out a dry Riesling (118 calories) to go with this DASH-approved recipe for chicken chili. Over on the red side, a light Sangiovese (129 calories) pairs well with this DASH-friendly homemade minestrone soup.
How it Works
Move over low-fat diets of the 90s, these days the trend is low-carb. Why? The basic idea is that by lowering carb intake, the body will burn stored fat for energy. There are many variations on this theme, including Paleo, aka “the caveman diet,” and the Slow-Carb diet, which conveniently color-codes your food choices, challenging you to replace white carbs (e.g., flour, pasta, and potatoes) with a rainbow of veggies and lean proteins.
Red wine is allowed in both the paleo and Slow-Carb diets, and Pinot Noir (120 calories and 3.4g carbs) pairs well with lean meats – a frequent guest on the menu. In fact, Pinot makes a great match for this paleo-approved recipe for roast chicken thighs and brussel sprouts.
If you’re observing a more casual low-carb diet, you might want to keep a bottle of Sauvignon blanc on hand. A light, crisp Sauv blanc (120 calories and 3g carbs per 5 oz glass) goes well with greens, herb-spiced dishes, and fish like sole, sea bass, and trout.
P.S. Whole30 is a popular low-carb diet that asks you to cut out basically everything except for meat, fish, fruit, and veggies for 30 days. Notably absent from the list of approved menu options is alcohol. However, if you’re not doing the Whole30 to learn about your dietary allergies or you choose not to follow it to the letter, we suggest looking into a vegan wine. Cheers!
In Vino Finito
Keep in mind that these calorie counts are based on a 5 oz glass of wine, so go easy on those free-hand pours. Also remember that this list of diet-friendly wines for keto, paleo, DASH and more is subject to change if the individual diets update their parameters.
Trying another new diet? Hit us up if you need guidance for a wine pairing. And subscribe to our newsletter for a daily dose of wine wisdom. Best of luck on your dieting journey!