Do you feel like you're cheating when you pair a glass of Merlot with your healthy, low-carb dinner? Well, research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine will help you sip guilt free, because that glass of wine might actually be helping you control your blood sugar.

The study

Researcher Iris Shai of Ben Gurion University led a study following 225 people with type 2 diabetes for two years to examine the effects of wine on people with already elevated blood sugars. All of the participants in the study ate a Mediterranean-style diet. The participants were divided into three groups, drinking either one glass of red wine, one glass of white wine, or mineral water each day.

At the conclusion of the study, those in the group drinking red wine had improved cardiovascular health. But surprisingly, those who drank either red or white wine had better blood sugar control than those who drank mineral water.

The improvements in diabetes management were not significant enough to consider a glass of wine a treatment for diabetes, but this is still positive news if you enjoy a glass once in a while. Be warned that the benefits of alcohol can quickly be outweighed by the possible health risks if you consume more than one or two small servings a day. But if you want to pour yourself one glass of vino to wind down your day, this study suggests you can do so with peace of mind that you aren’t hurting your health.

For more on diabetes and alcohol:

It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere
Diabetes & Beer: Can They Coexist?
Alcohol and Diabetes: Know the Facts