Moderate amounts of alcohol can help reduce stress, decrease anxiety and improve your mood. Beer in particular has nutrients such as B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iron.
But, before you go out and celebrate with a few pints, keep in mind that beer is only healthy if you drink moderately and make it part of a balanced lifestyle.
The health risks of drinking larger amounts of alcohol will quickly outweigh its benefits and to make matters worse, alcohol can impair your judgment, thus making it hard for you to stop at just a drink or two.
- The carbohydrate in beer contributes about 20% of the total energy, the rest of the energy comes from the alcohol in the beer. It is therefore the alcohol, and not the carbohydrate that taxes the liver and results in weight gain from the excess energy. Alcohol is more energy dense than carbohydrate.
- Alcohol is a toxin that is metabolized by the liver in preference to other liver functions. The alcohol in each drink can take 2 to 3 hours to be metabolized however the liver can comfortably metabolize two drinks per day in most people, but not six or more drinks.
- Each beer is equivalent to 1 ½ slices of white bread therefore a six-pack would be equivalent to nine bread slices.
- Lite beers contain up to 30% less kilojoules than regular beer, and not 50% less energy as many may assume.
Making smarter beer choices:
- When having a beer compensate for the extra energy by having little or no starch with your (next) meal, since each beer is equivalent to 1 ½ slices of bread.
- Beer can be diluted with sugar free mixer to yield two beer shandy’s.
- Beer drinking occasions often go hand in hand with mindless snacking on high fat concentrated foods such as crisps, biltong, mini pastries, braaied meat, etc. Be more mindful and try not to over indulge on such foods.
- Although a lite beer would be a best choice, the same recommendations above apply.