Monday, March 17, 2008

Luck O' the Irish

Since it is St. Paddy's Day and I'm 1/4 Irish, I thought I would blog about beer :) Actually WW online has a great article about beer that I wanted to share with you all. (There is also an adorable interactive game with points values for popular cocktails and mixed drinks, but I couldn't cut and paste the text, so you'll have to go to the site yourself - sorry!) So, grab a pint and read on about beer ...

The Good News:
Beer has ...
NO cholesterol
NO fat
Very little sugar

The Bad News:
Alcohol is one calorie-dense nectar, packing 7 calories per gram. That's almost as much as fat, which has 9 calories per gram. Don't blame the malt. "The most significant source of calories in beer is the alcohol itself," says Charlie Bamforth, PhD, chair and professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, University of California, Davis and author of Beer: Health and Nutrition, "The stronger the beer, the more calories."

* Most 12-ounce beer with 5 percent alcohol by volume contains 3 POINTS values.
* The typical 16-ounce draft pint contains 4 POINTS values.
* Most 12-ounce "light" beers are 2 POINTS values.
* A 1-pint draft of light beer is 3 POINTS values.
* A 12-ounce non-alcoholic beer is 1 POINTS value. (I think Kim mentioned this as an option way back when. Thanks Kim!)

Can it improve your health?
Some studies show that moderate drinking may help lower risk of heart disease, particularly in men over 45 and women over 55. But what is moderate? For men, it's no more than two drinks per day. For women, it's no more than one. Exceed your quota, and the risk of heart and liver disease, stroke and accidents negate any perks.

Don't follow the lite.
The terms "light" and "lite" (or any other cutesy variation) have no legal definition. They could mean the beer is light in color or lighter than lead—or anything else the staff at the brewery decided.

Watch your low-carb language.
If the labels reads "low carbohydrate," the beer must have no more than 7 grams of carbohydrates per serving. But any beer can tout "reduced carbohydrates" or "lower carbohydrates" on its label, just so long as the brewery makes a more carb-heavy beer. Shifty, eh?

Beers (12 oz.) with 2 POINTS value
Amstel Light
Guinness Draft (bottle) - (I was surprised by this one!)
Aspen Edge
Samuel Adams Light - (Good stuff!)
Bud Select

Beers with More POINTS Values
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
Coors Blue Moon
Red Hook IPA
Molson Golden


Amazon Alanna said...

Guiness is good for you! Actually, in some respects it is, as it has fiber. Who knew?

Jj said...

Wow, great info on Beer! Coming from a German family, I thought I knew a lot already, but your post was very enlightening. Happy Easter!