Is beer healthy?

Al Williams at Stuff reports:

The beer belly getting you down? Still parked on the couch and wanting to shed some kilos?

Stop for a minute and forget about it – new research suggests it’s healthy.

While it is widely believed that beer is fattening, new scientific evidence from the United Kingdom suggests it has “nutritional and wellbeing benefits” which are at least similar to wine.

A report was commissioned by the British Beer and Pub Association to see whether beer was responsible for more weight gain than other alcoholic drinks, including wine.

It found that there was growing scientific support that moderate consumption of beer could be associated with benefits.

It also found that 100ml of a 5 per cent lager contained 43 calories, compared to the 84 of the same quantity of a 12 per cent white wine. The rule of thumb was, the higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.

Moderation, as with most things, is the key. Few things (except poisons) are totally bad for you.

But would point out one flaw in the advocacy that beer is less fattening than wine. It is true on a per ml measure – but this ignores the nature of both drinks. You inevitably drink more beer and faster, than you do wine (although I may have disproved that theory last night!). If you drink more than a litre of wine you will be highly unlikely to carry on drinking. But one can drink a litre of beer fairly easily without too many noticeable effects.

A standard beer glass tends to be 330 mls or more and wine up to 150 mls only. So yes beer per ml is less fattening  but a glass of beer is more fattening than a glass of wine I’d say.

Having said that, generally drink a lot less wine than I used to – mainly because of the in it.

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