Weight Loss

What are the best beers for weight loss?

By Mark Surdut APD AN

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australians today are drinking less than any time in the last 55 years! Well, in their defence, this stat was published in 2019. And as a beer-loving nation, questions around which beer is best for our health is repeatedly asked the experts.

What’s the truth about which beer is best?

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Answer: Whichever beers you fancy the taste of, right? Almost…like with all alcoholic beverages, and all things food, it’s the size (quantity) that matters.

Drink in moderation and it matters less which one you choose. Some beers are even nourishing (such as Guinness, or so the legend goes).

One study published about 10 years ago, showed men that drank around 1 litre of beer daily were around 20% more likely to have a bigger tummy. That’s obvious, I would have thought. And imagine the other consequences of drinking 1 litre a day, every day … on cardiovascular disease, the brain and a marriage!

So, if you (like me) enjoy an occasional beer, it should be fine. Rather enjoy one stubby of beer of your choice and pat yourself on the back for playing a starring role as a more responsible member of society by limiting the amount and frequency of your beer consumption.

So, what are all these different types of beer about?

Basically, beer can be divided into 3 types:

  • Full strength beer – has around 5% alcohol content
  • Mid strength beer – has around 3.5% alcohol
  • “Light” beer – has around 2.7% alcohol (Australia is a world leader in the market share of low strength beers).

What exactly is the relationship between alcohol and beer-guts?

Essentially, alcohol calories – unlike other calories – are tricky to store in the body, they’re a foreign substance, not a food group (surprise!) and when we ingest alcohol, the body is forced to deal with it right away as it has no real capacity to store it.

That’s a problem, because all the other calories, from fats and carbs, don’t get the attention they need and may get stored in, and on, our belly!

A number of blogs out there may list the calorie content of beers, but we warned: This bloke believes it’s not simply about calories being less or more, rather pay sharp attention to the number of carbs in a beer, and the number of beers you consume.

Non-alcoholic beers?

Sorry but I disagree, when it comes to health, non-alcoholic beers are NOT the answer to health. A popular ‘zero alcohol’ beer on the market has more carbohydrate than many other beers, and almost double the carb content of Guinness!

The bottom line:

Looking for a beer and worried about your belly fat? Pick a lighter strength beer with a lower carbohydrate level that hopefully tastes good too. Alternatively, pick a natural free from additives no- or very low-carb (and under 100 calories) beer, likely to be fuller in alcohol strength, and enjoy it in moderation.

 

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written by:

Mark Surdut APD AN

Mark Surdut is a is an Accredited Practising Dietitian / Nutritionist and member of Dietitians Australia and is a passionate advocate for men’s health, diet and overall wellbeing.