Beer Nutrition Facts and Benefits

If you love drinking beer, chances are you do not know how many calories you consume with each drink. That is because putting a nutrition label on beers is optional in most countries, and the manufacturers don’t want you to think about the carbs you are consuming while drinking beer. Though beer can be a healthy drink in moderation, most people take in unnecessary amounts of calories with it daily. Today, we are going to clarify the history of nutrition labeling on beers, plus the nutrition facts and the health benefits of beer.

Labeling on Beers

In the United States, alcoholic beverages are not regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are regulated by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This means beer is not affected by the FDA’s regulation to include nutrition labels on food packages, which shows information about the ingredients and the carbs, protein and fat content. But Beer Institute, which includes huge companies like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA and North American Breweries, has recently said that they will push their companies to include nutrition labels on their products.

In European Union, the Commission adopted a report to the European Parliament and the Council about the mandatory nutrition labelling on alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers responded with a self-regulatory proposal, which is still being assessed to this day.

Until now, manufacturers have argued that putting nutrition labels on alcoholic beverages would make people think that said drinks are nutritious, while health experts have said that they should at least include information about their calorie content. But what is the importance of including information regarding calories?

Beer is Healthy

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Beer Nutrition Facts –
Calories and What to Be Aware of

In the United States, alcoholic beverages are not regulated by Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are regulated by Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). This means beer is not affected by the FDA’s regulation to include nutrition labels on food packages, which shows information about the ingredients and the carbs, protein and fat content. But Beer Institute, which includes huge companies like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken USA and North American Breweries, has recently said that they will push their companies to include nutrition labels on their products.

In European Union, the Commission adopted a report to the European Parliament and the Council about the mandatory nutrition labelling on alcoholic beverages. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers responded with a self-regulatory proposal, which is still being assessed to this day.

Until now, manufacturers have argued that putting nutrition labels on alcoholic beverages would make people think that said drinks are nutritious, while health experts have said that they should at least include information about their calorie content. But what is the importance of including information regarding calories?

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Is Beer Healthy?

Surprisingly, beer comes with a number of health benefits. Beer has beneficial chemicals called polyphenols. Some of these polyphenols like flavonoids, flavanols and phenolic acids, have health benefits that are backed by research.

  1. Protects Your Bones: One study published in 2009 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who drank beer moderately had greater bone mineral density. Also, beers that have high levels of hops and barley are good sources of silicon, which also builds bones. Plus, the estrogenic effect of the alcohol has bone-protective quality.
  2. Protects Your Heart: Other studies show that beer also reduces heart disease risk. For both healthy people and people that already have heart diseases, one to two drinks daily seem to reduce heart disease risk by %25.
  3. Protects Your Kidney: Multiple studies done in Italy and Finland showed a great reduction in the risk of kidney stone formation in people that drink beer, between %40 and %60.
  4. Protects Your Brain: Another study published in New England Journal of Medicine study analyzed the 11,000 women over 15 years and found out a 20 percent lower risk of brain function decline in those who had one drink per day on average.

But do all these mean that beer is %100 healthy?

Unfortunately, no. Since beer contains alcohol, moderate or even low consumption of beer is not %100 healthy. All of the benefits we stated above can be obtained by other means without taking in alcohol. Furthermore, drinking beer any more than moderate can lead to headaches and hangovers. Plus, all the alcohol you will be consuming can easily outweigh the benefits we listed above.

So, if you are looking to drink beer for its health benefits, look somewhere else. If you are a responsible drinker, however, a couple of drinks here and there won’t hurt, and can even help. After all, outside of its physical benefits, moderate amounts of beer can help you ease out, chill and let the stress of daily life go away a bit.

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