Is beer more fattening than wine? – This wine vs beer weight loss debate we can solve easily. One pint of lager has the same alcohol content (roughly) as a medium-sized glass of wine, which is approximately 2-3 British units. However, the speed at which you become inebriated depends on the speed at which the alcohol enters your bloodstream.
Spirits enter your bloodstream the quickest, followed by wine, followed by beer. Meaning that a glass of wine will go to your head quicker than a pint of beer. In order to feel the effects of the alcohol from the lager, you will need to consume twice as many pints of lager than the person drinking a glass of wine.
Now, when it comes to calories in alcohol, beer outstrips the rest of its compadres – one pint of beer has 50% more calories than a glass of wine. If we count the overall calories in a bottle of wine the results still go very much in your favour.
- 1 Is wine or beer better for weight loss?
- 2 Which alcohol has least calories?
- 3 Can I drink alcohol and still lose weight?
- 4 What alcohol is worse for your liver?
- 5 What alcohol is safe to drink daily?
- 6 Can drinking beer cause you to gain weight?
- 7 How many beers is the equivalent to a bottle of wine?
- 8 Does beer have more carbs than wine?
Which is more fattening beer or wine?
– Source: CNN ” data-fave-thumbnails=”, “small”: }” data-vr-video=”” data-show-html=”” data-check-event-based-preview=”” data-network-id=”” data-details=””> How alcohol affects your health 01:16 – Source: CNN CNN — I often tell people to steer clear of alcoholic beverages when trying to lose weight. After all, they don’t exactly provide nutritious calories, and consuming them can make it increasingly more challenging to lose weight, But that doesn’t stop people from asking me, “what is the best drink to have on a diet?” Clearly, some alcoholic beverages are more waistline-friendly than others. So the short answer is: If you’re looking to shed pounds, some of your lowest-calorie bets are a shot of spirits (for example, a 1.5-ounce shot of vodka, gin, rum, whiskey or tequila contains an average of 97 calories), a glass of champagne (about 84 calories per 4 ounces); a glass of dry wine (approximately 120 to 125 calories per 5 ounces) or a traditional martini, with an average of 124 calories for a 2.5-ounce serving. A light beer (approximately 100 calories) or a glass of reduced-calorie wine (about 90 to 100 calories) are other lower-calorie options. But if you want to know why some alcoholic beverages contain more calories than others, read on. Pure alcohol contains 7 calories per gram – that’s less than a gram of fat, which has 9 calories, but more than protein and carbs, which have 4 calories per gram each – but other variables of your drink influence the calorie count. The amount of alcohol, the total volume of a beverage, the amount of carbohydrates and sugars and mixers all play a role. Generally speaking, the biggest difference in calories in beverages comes from the alcohol content, but the presence of carbohydrates in alcoholic beverages also contributes largely to its calories, according to Dwayne Bershaw, who teaches winemaking classes in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University. Any carbohydrates in wine consist of small amounts of sugar, which may either be left over from the original grape sugar after most of it ferments into alcohol or added from grape juice or some other source, in order to balance the acidity of the wine. Unless we’re talking about a dessert wine, this amount of sugar is generally small and does not contribute a significant amount of calories to wine. Beer is made from grain, which stores carbohydrates in the form of starch – specifically large, branched sugar molecules, which are chopped into pieces by naturally occurring enzymes in malted barley during the brewing process. The smallest sugar pieces are converted to alcohol by yeast, but some larger pieces remain that cannot be broken down by yeast, according to Bershaw. These remaining carbohydrates contribute to the overall calorie count for most beers. Generally, beer has more calories than wine, but the calorie difference in the two primarily comes from the leftover carbohydrates in beer, as the sugar content for most wines is fairly low. Low-calorie beers have an additional enzyme added during the brewing or fermentation process, and it breaks down all of the starch molecules into simple sugars so there are no remaining carbohydrates. These beers also have a relatively low alcohol content to keep the total calorie count quite low, according to Bershaw. And generally, spirits – including vodka, tequila, rum and gin – do not contain any carbohydrates or sugars. Some producers may add small amounts of sugar to combat any perceived bitterness, according to Bershaw, but like wine, this small amount would not bump the calorie count much. Though they have higher alcohol by volume (up to 40% or more), the volume of a standard shot is small (1.5 ounces), making them a relatively lower-calorie option – that is, as long as you can stick to one shot or mix it with a zero-calorie beverage, like a diet cola, soda water or seltzer. Other ingredients – including mixers, tonic water, juice, soda, syrups, cream and coconut – all pack sugar and fat calories on top of alcohol and should be consumed with caution, explained Ginger Hultin, a registered dietitian, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and author of the blog ChampagneNutrition. “Margaritas and pina coladas can have close to 500 calories per drink, depending on the size and how it’s made, and could be a real challenge for anyone with a weight loss goal,” Hultin added. Lisa Drayer is a nutritionist, an author and a CNN health and nutrition contributor.
Is wine or beer better for weight loss?
Wine or beer – What’s Better for Weight Loss Just the other day a member was saying she decided to pour her drink down the drain instead of having the extra calories one evening. She also asked if she was going to enjoy a drink over the holidays what would be better for her weight loss goals.
- This is what we shared with her.
- Q & A: What’s better for losing weight, beer or wine? A: Once for ounce it’s beer hands down.
- Wine has about 24 calories per ounce, and beer has about 13 calories per ounce.
- Since weight loss and/or maintenance is about calories, it looks like beer is the winner.
- However, a serving of wine (5oz) has 118 calories, and a serving of beer (12oz) has 147 calories.
So, if you’re drinking from your minibar the bottle of wine will have fewer calories than the bottle of beer. Then again, there’s low calorie beers that have 90 calories or less in them. I also saw on the internet that an empty bottle of wine that is filled up with water has zero calories, so maybe that’s the winner.
Hopefully I have confused you by this point. Control Your Pour Beer usually comes in smaller bottles or cans that are a single servings. Wine in a hotel minibar is usually single serve, but at home it is usually found in a 25 ounce (5 serving bottle). What I discovered in middle and high school is that servings of alcohol are equivalent to whatever size bottle you purchased I also discovered that I have a drinking problem that is only treatable by avoiding alcohol, but that’s besides the point.
Bottom Line 1. Buy the lowest calorie beer you can enjoy. This is not the same as the absolute best tasting.2. Buy your wine in single servings only. Yes, it is more expensive, and that’s a speed bump on opening the next bottle. Your cheap side should help save you some calories here.3.
For the most part, only teenage boys and professional athletes burn enough calories to afford “and.” 4.1-2 servings (2-300 calories total) of alcohol is nearly always lower in calories than dessert. Desserts at restaurants typically start at 800 calories.5. Know yourself. If drinking some leads to lots of overeating, or an awful hangover the next day, then #4 doesn’t make sense for you.
Have a great day! : Wine or beer – What’s Better for Weight Loss
Is beer or wine worse for belly fat?
Do Other Types of Alcohol Cause Belly Fat? – The most likely way beer contributes to belly fat is through the excess calories it adds to your diet. Other types of alcohol like spirits and wine have fewer calories per standard drink than beer. This means they may be less likely to cause weight gain and belly fat.
- Interestingly, some studies have linked drinking moderate amounts of wine with lower body weights ( 35 ).
- The reason for this is unclear, although it’s been suggested that wine drinkers have healthier, more balanced diets compared to beer and spirit drinkers ( 7, 36 ).
- What’s more, studies have shown that the amount of alcohol you consume and how frequently you consume it also matter when it comes to your waistline.
In fact, one of the most risky behaviors for developing a beer belly seems to be binge drinking. Studies have found that drinking more than four drinks at one time can increase your risk of belly fat, no matter what drink you choose ( 19, 37, 38, 39 ).
Which alcohol has least calories?
It’s more than understandable to want to kick back with a drink at the end of a long day. While there’s no shame in that game, it’s easy to forget the liquid calories you’re sipping. A calorie is a unit of energy that comes from food and drinks, according to Nemours Children’s Health,
- If you are keeping track of the calories in your diet, you might want to consider low-calorie alcoholic beverages.
- The lowest-calorie alcohol is vodka, which only has 100 calories in a 50-millimeter shot.
- Other alcohols among those with the lowest calories are whisky, gin, and tequila, which all have about 110 calories per shot.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, alcohol is basically empty calories. “Calories from alcohol can add up fast,” Christy Brissette, MS, RD, owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition, said. “And, because alcohol doesn’t provide nutrients or fill you up, these calories are usually in addition to what you’re already eating and drinking.” Drinking also can make you feel less inhibited, so you’re more likely to overeat, Brissette said.
- While some forms of alcohol contain a fair number of calories on their own (looking at you, triple sec), a big issue in all of this is mixers, Keri Gans, MS, RD, author of The Small Change Diet, said.
- Many of the mixers we add to alcoholic drinks are high in sugar and provide no nutritional benefit,” Gans said.
The good news is you don’t need to swap your chardonnay for seltzer every time you want to celebrate. “To cut calories in most drinks, you can play with the ratios of ingredients,” Beth Warren, MS, RD, founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl, said.
Add more ice or sparkling waterTop your drink off with fresh fruit juice (with no added sugar)Try a natural sweetener instead of regular sugar or syrup
MedlinePlus also suggests using diet tonics, calorie-free mixers, lemonade, lightly sweetened iced teas, herbs, fruit, or vegetables for flavoring drinks without increasing calorie consumption. With that in mind, these are some of the lowest-calorie alcoholic drinks you can serve up, including easy tweaks to some popular favorites.
Margaritas can be calorie bombs thanks to lots of sugar and triple sec. Pre-made mixers can also be an issue due to high sugar content, Brissette said. To get around that, Brissette recommended using fresh lime juice, tequila, and a dash of agave syrup on the rocks. “You’ll keep the sugar and calories down,” Brissette said.
Want to add some nutrients to the mix? Health’s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, RD, recommended using avocado, mango, and orange juice for a hefty dose of essential vitamins and minerals. A gin and tonic is a classic combination, but it can pack a lot of calories.
Why? Tonic water is generally made with high-fructose corn syrup, the same sweetener that’s found in cola—and a 12-ounce can of tonic contains eight teaspoons of added sugar, Sass said. Enter seltzer. “Adding seltzer to a cocktail is always a great choice since it provides zero calories and zero grams of sugar,” Gans said.
A gin and seltzer lets you get that same bubbly feel and gin taste without all the added calories. Yes, small amounts of alcohol, including red wine, can be a part of a low-calorie lifestyle. But are you sabotaging yourself with a heavy-handed pour? It’s all too easy and common to consume too much, Sass said.
But sticking with the proper serving size—five ounces—and having just one glass of wine in a sitting will help keep calories down. “It’s a good choice in terms of calories,” Warren said. Pro tip, per Brissette: Go for drier varietals like sangiovese, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. These tend to be lower in sugar and calories, Brissette pointed out.
Like wine, portions matter here, Gans said. “A classic vodka or gin martini is around 120 calories—however, that is if only a single shot of alcohol is included and around 1/3 of an ounce of vermouth.” While martinis are notoriously strong, Brissette said that could be a good thing when it comes to calories.
“Sipping on such a strong cocktail probably means you’ll drink it more slowly than a sweeter drink made with juice or syrup,” Brissette said. If you want a little flavor in the mix, Brissette recommended adding a twist of lemon to infuse a citrusy taste or making your drink dirty with a splash of olive juice—it only adds about five calories.
Is rum and Coke your go-to drink? According to MedlinePlus, eight ounces of rum mixed with Diet Coke has a lower calorie count than its counterpart. If you want to amp up the taste without adding a ton of calories, you could always add a squeeze of fresh lime juice to your glass as well.
A chilled white wine can be refreshing, but pick the type you sip on carefully. Dry white wines, such as sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio, tend to have lower sugar content, which translates to fewer calories, Suss said. Sweeter varieties like Riesling could have more calories. And, again, serving size matters.
You want to strive for five ounces which, Gans pointed out, is “a smaller pour than most of us do.” Beer is often considered the ultimate bloat-bringer, but it may not be that bad. “Beers contain several B vitamins,” explained Sass. “A 12-ounce beer also packs more calcium, magnesium, and selenium, which is a key antioxidant, than a serving of wine.” Many beers don’t list calories on their labels, so Brissette recommended trying this hack: “Look for a beer that has an alcohol by volume of four, and you’ll be getting about 100 calories for a 12-ounce (serving).” A vodka soda may be your healthiest choice if you’re in the mood for hard alcohol.
When you combine a shot of vodka with seltzer, you skirt excess calories—and a nasty hangover. “Soda water or club soda is calorie-free since it’s just bubbly water,” Sass said. “It’s also a good cocktail mixer because it hydrates and contains no added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Plus, the bubbles may slow you down, so you don’t slam the drink.” The rules of picking out a lower-calorie champagne are the same as they are for wine.
“When choosing your champagne, know that ‘dry’ means less sugar and calories,” Brissette said. You can also look for “brut” on the label, which is French for unsweetened or dry. A mojito combines muddled mint leaves, rum, soda water, and sugar. You want to strive for a six-ounce serving with this one.
- Gans said it might be bigger if you get your mojito from a restaurant or bar.
- Also, scaling back on how much sugar you use or swapping in a sweetener for regular sugar can help cut back on calories, according to the Harvard School of Public Health,
- Think of a Paloma as the grapefruit lover’s alternative to a margarita.
It features tequila, grapefruit juice, lime juice, and soda water for a margarita-style taste. “This refreshing drink is a lighter alternative to a margarita which is typically made with plenty of agave and/or plenty of sugar-sweetened bar lime,” Brissette said.
- Use fresh grapefruit juice instead of bottled to save on calories.
- If you are keeping track of the calories in your diet, you may need to make a few adjustments with the amount of ice, type of sweetener, or kind of mixer in your alcoholic beverages to reduce the calories.
- Otherwise, drinks like wine, champagne, and light beer will do the trick to keeping the calories down.
If you enjoy going to brunch, mimosas may be on the menu. Mimosas typically come with two ingredients: orange juice and sparkling wine or champagne. Depending on how it’s made, four ounces of a mimosa is less than 100 calories, per MedlinePlus. So you might want to opt for a low-calorie orange juice or wine and champagne options that are less sweet.
How many beers equal 1 glass of wine?
How Many Beers Equals a Bottle of Wine? – A standard “drink” contains around 14 grams of alcohol, which is roughly how much is present in a 12 oz. beer at 5% ABV and a 5 oz. glass of wine at 12% ABV. At these proportions, the average glass of wine is equal to the average can of beer.
Is wine bad for belly fat?
In moderation, drinking wine won’t cause belly fat any more than any other food or beverage in your diet. In fact, research shows that it could even help reduce weight gain. Drinking too much wine, however, will have the opposite effect.
Should I give up wine to lose weight?
Drinking alcohol (especially drinking more than 1 to 2 drinks per day) adds extra calories to your diet, enhances food cravings, and slows down metabolism. Quitting (or cutting back) on alcohol is one effective way to lose excess weight — especially when combined with other evidence-based weight loss approaches.
Can wine make you gain weight?
– Drinking too much wine can cause you to consume more calories than you burn, which can lead to weight gain, What’s more, calories from alcohol are typically considered empty calories, since most alcoholic drinks do not provide substantial amounts of vitamins, minerals, or other nutrients.
Still, you may have heard that red wine, in particular, may offer more benefits than other alcohols. Red wine contains resveratrol, an antioxidant compound that may fight disease and has been linked to heart benefits when consumed in moderation ( 10 ). However, drinking too much wine appears to outweigh any possible benefits and contributes excess calories in the process ( 11 ).
Additionally, heavy drinking can lead to weight gain in ways other than just contributing empty calories. When you consume alcohol, your body uses it before carbs or fat for energy. As a result, these nutrients may be stored as fat ( 12 ). High alcohol consumption is also associated with poor diet quality.
Can I drink alcohol and still lose weight?
Yes, you can drink alcohol and lose weight. – But, don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the green light to open a bottle of wine tonight or slam 8 espresso martinis after work this Friday! Moderation is important, and so is knowing how to choose drinks that will have the least impact on your weight loss goals,
What alcohol has no sugar?
Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean Alcohol-Free The past few years have seen our drinking as a nation reduce somewhat: we’re becoming more health conscious, sober curious and a 2018 study found 30 per cent of younger people never drink at all. Sobriety might not be the only factor here.
- Eeping the pounds off by reducing sugar or carbohydrates may well be a prime mover.
- Many types of alcohol are high in carbohydrates — some packing in more carbs per serving than soft drinks, sweets and desserts.
- Powder sugar, granulated sugars, simple syrup and honey all play their parts behind the bar and that’s before fruit juices are added.
For comparison sake, a serving of orange juice is equivalent in sugar content to a third of a can of Coke. Low-carb diets have recently become increasingly popular as an effective way to lose weight and improve health. They typically involve cutting out carbohydrate rich foods like sugar, grains, fruits and starchy vegetables and focus instead on proteins and healthy fats.
However, many dieters are uncertain about whether alcohol can be consumed on a low-carb diet, and recommendations on the subject can be conflicting. Just because your customers are on a low-sugar diet doesn’t mean that they can’t indulge a little. Pure forms of alcohol like whiskey, gin, tequila, rum and vodka are all completely sugar-free whereas wines and light beer like Sapporo or Budvar have a minimal carb content.
There are plenty of choices out there for those who like a drink and while moderation is key, it doesn’t mean alcohol intake needs to stop completely. So, if millennial customers are cutting out sugar, what can venue managers stock behind the bar? Pickings might not be as slim as you think! Here are a few classic cocktails that are basically sugar-free.
- Spicy Margarita
- This Spicy Margarita is the perfect ratio of tart lime juice and a simple Powdered Erythritol syrup.
- 60 ml tequila
- 30 ml fresh lime juice
- 30 ml low-carb simple syrup
- 1 sliced jalapeño pepper, plus more for garnish
Zero Calorie Syrup:
- 100g granulated Erythritol
- 120ml water
Instructions Make the simple syrup by combining the Powdered Erythritol with the water over medium heat. Bring to a simmer until reduced. Slice the jalapeño pepper.
- Squeeze the limes.
- Place the jalapeño into a cocktail shaker and muddle.
- Add in some ice, the freshly pressed lime juice, simple syrup, and tequila.
- Shake until combined and strain into a small glass over ice.
- Garnish with an extra slice of jalapeño and lime if desired.
Vodka Mojito The recipe is straightforward and you’ll just need vodka, ice, lime juice, fresh mint, Erythritol and soda water. The fresh mint and lime combination is very refreshing, and the Erythritol sweetens it without spoiling your entire diet. Ingredients
- 4 leaves Mint fresh
- 30 ml Lime Juice 2 Tablespoons
- 2 g Granulated Erythritol
- Ice Cubed or Crushed
- 1 shot Vodka
- 1 splash Soda
- Lime Slice for Garnish
- Smash fresh mint leaves with lime and Erythritol.
- Fill glass with ice.
- Add vodka.
- Finish off with soda.
- Garnish with a lime slice and mint.
- Peach Long Island Iced Tea
- A refreshing cocktail that tastes like peach tea but with just 0 carbs.
- 25ml Peach Schnapps
- 50ml Vodka
- 25ml Bourbon
- 25ml White rum
- Soda water
- Add the schnapps, vodka, bourbon and rum to a shaker.
- Fill with ice.
- Shake until well blended and strain into a glass.
- Add the Soda water
- Add ice if desired.
: Sugar-Free Doesn’t Mean Alcohol-Free
Why do alcoholics lose so much weight?
Alcoholic Use Disorder (AUD) Impacts Self-Care – In AUD, compulsions and cravings for alcoholic drinks overtake even the most basic aspects of daily living, including eating. People with alcohol use disorder lose weight because their calorie intake has dropped below their energy requirements for everyday life. This may be because:
They are too preoccupied with drinking to be concerned with food Their lives are too chaotic to enable them to shop, and cook, regularly or safely They are spending all their money on alcohol, and therefore cannot afford to buy food They do not have the facilities to store or to prepare food, and do not consider obtaining these important
Alcohol research shows that weight loss in AUD often forms part of a wider pattern of self-neglect, Self-neglect is often a particular problem for the follow groups of people who abuse alcohol:
Older adults People with learning disabilities People who struggle to engage with statutory services People who lead very isolated lives
What should I drink before bed to lose weight?
You can drink ginger tea, cinnamon tea, fenugreek water, chamomile tea, or turmeric milk before bed as they may help improve your metabolism. Yes, drinking lemon water before bed may help burn fat at night.
What alcohol is worse for your liver?
The #1 Worst Drink for Your Liver, Says Dietitian Unwinding with a glass of or a cold beer after work always seems luxurious, and few celebrations feel complete without a glass of, While you can get away with a drink every now and then, dietitians agree that does the most liver damage out of any beverage.
- Alcohol is the worst drink for your liver as it makes it harder on the liver to break down and remove toxins from the body,” says,
- Alcohol is known to cause damage to this vital organ, but a wide variety of alcoholic drinks can also pose health risks,” says Janet Coleman, RD at,
- In fact, some people may be at risk of poisoning if they consume too much alcohol.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends that men consume no more than 24 grams of alcohol per day, while women should limit themselves to 12 grams per day.” Certain types of alcoholic drinks end up contributing the most towards, “Hard liquor contains more alcohol than beer or wine, making it more dangerous for your liver,” continues Coleman.
Another alcoholic beverage also takes a considerable toll on your liver.”Unlike other alcoholic drinks, hard cider has a high concentration of ethanol which can lead to stomach problems when consumed in large quantities,” says Coleman. RELATED:
Luckily, anyone who enjoys the buzz contained in each of these drinks can find some at their local grocery store. “The best replacement would be a, which contributes good bacteria to the and does not contribute toxins for your liver to remove,” says Valencia.
- Guayusa, an alternative drink to alcohol, has been around for many years in Ecuador and other South American countries,” adds Coleman.
- It is a natural stimulant that is said to relieve stress and boost energy levels without affecting the mind the same way does.” While research on the benefits of guayusa has yet to be done, Coleman notes that this drink is “considered by some as nature’s energy drink; a healthier alternative to coffee and tea.
It is used in traditional medicine to treat headaches and menstrual pain, among other things.” For more drinking tips, read these next: : The #1 Worst Drink for Your Liver, Says Dietitian
What alcohol is safe to drink daily?
Defining moderate – Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults generally means up to one drink a day for women and up to two drinks a day for men. Examples of one drink include:
- Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
- Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
- Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
Can drinking beer cause you to gain weight?
Why the calories in alcohol can lead to a ‘beer belly’ – Drinking alcohol will add to the overall calories we consume each day. Calories from alcohol are ’empty calories’, meaning they have little nutritional benefit. So consuming extra calories through drinking can lead to weight gain.1,2 Typically, men tend to show weight gain around their middle 3,4, which is how the term ‘beer belly’ came about.
Which is more fattening hard alcohol or wine?
Hard liquor usually has more calories than beer or wine. Each fluid ounce of 80-proof distilled spirits, including rum, gin, whiskey and vodka, contains 64 calories, making the typical 1.5-ounce serving about 96 calories. Liqueurs tend to be higher in calories, because they’re higher in sugar.
How many beers is the equivalent to a bottle of wine?
One Bottle of Wine Equals How Many Beers? – If you’re a regular wine drinker curious about how many beers’ worth of alcohol is in a typical bottle of wine, a decent estimate is about five beers. While this rule-of-thumb average is convenient, be sure to consider the ABV and volume of your wine or beer when making these comparisons.
Does beer have more carbs than wine?
Scientists say beer has more nutrients and vitamins than wine or spirits. “There’s a reason people call it liquid bread,” says researcher Charlie Bamforth. iStockphoto hide caption toggle caption iStockphoto Scientists say beer has more nutrients and vitamins than wine or spirits. “There’s a reason people call it liquid bread,” says researcher Charlie Bamforth. iStockphoto What’s the healthiest libation for ringing in the New Year? Beer, says Charlie Bamforth, a professor of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis.
- Though it’s been blamed for many a paunch, it’s more nutritious than most other alcoholic drinks, Bamforth says.
- There’s a reason people call it liquid bread,” he says.
- Beer, he says, has more selenium, B vitamins, phosphorus, folate and niacin than wine.
- Beer also has significant protein and some fiber.
And it is one of a few significant dietary sources of silicon, which research has shown can help thwart the effects of osteoporosis. Preliminary research by Bamforth has also suggested that beer may have prebiotics — nourishment for the good bacteria in our gut. As for antioxidants, he says both beer and wine contain them. But, as we’ve reported, resveratrol, the molecule in red wine and chocolate once celebrated as a nutritional key to longevity, may not offer much of a benefit — if consumed in the small quantities we typically get from food and drink.
- The way that the wine industry advertised red wine, making us think beer just causes beer bellies, was very clever,” says Bamforth.
- He adds that the antioxidants in wine may also not be as readily absorbed as the ones in beer — compounds like f erulic acid,
- With beer, more of actually get into the body,” he says, though beers can have varying levels of them.
And despite a common misconception, color has little or no bearing on a beer’s nutritional content, Bamforth says. That is, a pint of Guinness is roughly equivalent to a Budweiser lager. What’s more, Bamforth notes, craft beer should not be perceived as healthier than mass-produced lagers, which he says also tend to be made with natural, grain-based sugars and few, if any, synthetic additives.
So what about the dreaded beer belly? After all, alcohol contains about 7 calories per gram (almost as much as fat, which contains 9 calories per gram). Those calories can add up after a few bottles, with about 150 calories in your typical, 12-ounce serving of 5 percent-alcohol beer. Bamforth argues that we shouldn’t blame big bellies on beer.
Beer drinkers who are overweight or obese are probably eating too much greasy pub grub and spending too many hours on the bar stool, he notes. “But the brewers shot themselves in the foot when they came out with ‘low-carb’ beer, implying that everything else they made was ‘high-carb,’ ” Bamforth says.
Calorie-counting, though, gets a lot trickier in the world of craft beers. Many imperial stouts, barley wines, IPAs, Belgian styles and bocks measure 8 or 9 percent alcohol by volume — or even much more. In addition, many of these beers — especially highly hopped, bitter beers — tend to be sweeter, with extra calories from carbs (which add another 4 calories per gram).
While Bamforth is correct that beer is lower in carbs compared with, say, bread, it has lots more carbs than wine. A standard 5-ounce glass of wine contains just 1 or 2 grams of carbohydrates. A 12-ounce serving of a 5 percent-alcohol beer has between 10 and 20 grams of carbs — or 40 to 80 extra calories.
- Up the ABV, and your calories start to balloon.
- A 12-ounce bottle of 9.6 percent ABV Sierra Nevada Bigfoot Barleywine will contain roughly 300 calories, 200 of which come from the alcohol.
- Right up there among the most calorie-packed beers is Dogfish Head’s 120-Minute IPA, which contains 20 percent alcohol — twice that of Bigfoot.
One bottle may contain more than 500 calories. That’s about the same energy as you’d get from a cup of granola — or four glasses of wine. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, tells The Salt that his philosophy on drinking such hefty beers is that the higher alcohol content boosts flavor — which makes the extra calories worth it.
- He adds that Dogfish Head, like many craft breweries, also makes lower-alcohol beers with about the same calorie counts as mainstream lagers.
- Arthur Klatsky, a retired Kaiser Permanente doctor and a researcher of the health effects of alcohol consumption, doesn’t favor any particular alcoholic beverage.
Yet he agrees that “beer has more nutrients, often more calories, B vitamins. It’s more like a food,” He says that if you want to reap the heart-health benefits of drinking, consistency is key: two or three drinks per day for an average man, and one or two for a woman.