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The Best and Worst Beers for Weight Loss

You can drink a cold one on a diet—as long as it's the right can.
The Best and Worst Beers for Weight Loss

Beer and wine both have a lot of different effects on the body, both positive and negative. On the positive side, a lot of research on red wine (and some on beer and white wine) indicates that one drink a day can help protect against stroke, coronary artery disease, dementia, and other diseases. Indeed, some studies suggest that drinking in moderation can actually help deflate a beer belly and there are even healthy beers out there that are fine to drink even if you're on a diet. Yes, there are plenty of low calorie beers out there.

See, in a study of 8,000 people, Texas Tech University researchers determined that those who downed a daily drink were 54 percent less likely to have a weight problem than teetotalers. Between one and two drinks a day results in a 41 percent risk reduction. But that's where the trend ends. Consumption of three or more daily drinks increases your risk of obesity, says the study. So if you can limit yourself to one or two a day, then you can get the health benefits without too many extra calories—if you choose wisely. Here's a rundown of what, exactly, you're really getting each time you reach for a cold one, as we ranked the healthiest beers you can sip on.

Below, we listed beers from worst to best, based on calories and carbohydrate content—the two major nutritional factors at play when analyzing alcohol.

First, the worst beers.

1

Bud Light Straw-Ber-Ita

ritas straw-ber-ita sparkling margarita

Per 1 can: 198 calories, 23.6 g carbs, 8% ABV

What do get when you mix a strawberry margarita with a Bud Light Lime? A sugar-packed party in a cup that will cost you nearly 200 calories for a tiny 8-ounce serving. If you're planning to have more than one drink (which, let" be honest, you likely are), don't make this one of them.

2

Michelob Honey Lager

michelob honey lager

Per 1 bottle: 178 calories, 19 g carbs, 4.9% ABV

The honey sweetens the beer but sours the carb count. See what else is on tap that could better fit your calorie budget.

3

Guinness Extra Stout

guinness extra stout beer

Per 1 bottle: 176 calories, 14 g carbs, 5.6% ABV

This beer is simply full of extra calories. So opt for Guinness Draught instead. You'll no doubt be pleasantly surprised where it falls on this list. (Hint: Keep scrolling.)

4

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

sierra nevada pale ale can

Per 1 can: 175 calories, 16.9 g carbs, 5.6% ABV

If this beer flows down your throat like water, save it for a special occasion when it's okay to indulge. (Don't even think about driving.) And of course, if you do drink more than you should, at least make sure you're working those extra calories off with regular exercise.

5

Samuel Adams Boston Lager

sam adams boston lager

Per 1 bottle: 175 calories, 18 g carbs, 5.0% ABV

If you love Sam but are worried about your waistline, you're better off drinking this brand's light variety.

6

Blue Moon Belgian White

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Per 1 bottle: 164 calories, 13 g carbs, 5.4% ABV

This brew's calorie-count isn't outrageous, but it's not going to help you lose your beer belly.

7

Bass Ale

bass ale beer

Per 1 bottle: 156 calories, 12/4 g carbs, 5.1% ABV

This one's borderline. Drink two and you're consuming more calories than a jelly-filled donut from Dunkin' Donuts!

8

Stella Artois

Per 1 bottle: 154 calories, 12 g carbs, 5.2% ABV

While this is a popular beer, the calorie count is rather high, especially since there's a good chance you're going to have a few of these.

9

Red Stripe Jamaican Lager

red stripe beer

Per 1 bottle: 153 calories, 14 g carbs, 4.7% ABV

Deceiving little guy, isn't it? Just because it comes in a shorter bottle doesn't mean it has fewer calories.

RELATED: Learn how to fire up your metabolism and lose weight the smart way.

10

Dos Equis

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Per 1 bottle: 131 calories, 11 g carbs, 4.7% ABV

Dos means two. Let that be your reminder of just how much you're consuming when you're sipping on one of these.

11

Corona Extra

corona extra

Per 1 bottle: 148 calories, 14 g carbs, 4.6% ABV

Extra what? Extra flavor? Extra smooth? Or is it extra calories? Don't be fooled by its "light" taste.

12

Hoegaarden

hoegaarden beer

Per 1 bottle: 148 calories, 10.8 g carbs, 4.9% ABV

A good beer with dinner. But remember: Three good beers with dinner and you've downed yourself well, another dinner.

13

Coors

coors banquet

Per 1 can: 147 calories, 11.7 g carbs, 5.0% ABV

Have just one, maybe two. After all, there's no way around it: Once you start to pound this beer, that's exactly what you'll end up with: more pounds.

14

Budweiser

budweiser bottle

Per 1 bottle: 145 calories, 10.6 g carbs, 5.0% ABV

No doubt about it, this domestic is a classic, but it's a bit higher in calories than we'd like to see.

15

Modelo Especial

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Per 1 bottle: 144 calories, 13.7 g carbs, 4.4% ABV

This pale lager isn't the worst thing in the cooler, but there are a number of better beers to choose from.

16

Heineken

heineken beer

Per 1 bottle: 142 calories, 11 g carbs, 5.0% ABV

Another very recognizable brand of beer, but still, pretty high in calories. There are much better options!

17

Miller High Life

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Per 1 bottle: 141 calories, 13 g carbs, 4.6% ABV

The High Life isn't too bad for you—so long as you know when to call it quits—which, in this case, should be after one brewski.

18

Yuengling Lager

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Per 1 bottle: 140 calories, 12 g carbs, 4.5% ABV

This beer is a favorite in Eastern Pennsylvania, where it's brewed.

And now, the best beers.

19

Bud Light Platinum

bud light platinum

Per 1 bottle: 137 calories, 4.4 g carbs, 6.0% ABV

Bud Light Platinum is more potent than the average American brew and has fewer calories, too.

20

Rolling Rock Premium

rolling rock beer

Per 1 bottle: 130 calories, 9.8 g carbs, 4.5% ABV

Tastes like summer. Stick to this and you won't grow out of your swimsuit.

21

Natural Ice

natural ice beer

Per 1 can: 130 calories, 8.9 g carbs, 5.9% ABV

Although it's not super low-cal, downing a can or two of this brew won't totally derail your weight loss efforts.

22

Guinness Draught

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Per 1 bottle: 126 calories, 10 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Perhaps the most surprising beer on this list. The great taste of Guinness but with a calorie-count in the range of a light beer.

23

Sam Adams Light

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Per 1 bottle: 119 calories, 10 g carbs, 4.3% ABV

Think of it as a good beer's thinner brother.

24

Busch

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Per 1 can: 114 calories, 6.9 g carbs, 4.3% ABV

If you're looking for an American-style lager that won't break the calorie bank, cracking open a can of Busch isn't a bad bet.

25

Bud Light

bud light beer

Per 1 bottle: 110 calories, 7 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Ah. Refreshing, isn't it? Keep it away from the beer bong and you'll be just fine. And in case you were wondering, both men and women experience "beer goggles."

26

Coors Light

coors light beer

Per 1 bottle: 102 calories, 5 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

It falls just above the 100-calorie mark, making it competitive with the top light beers. Don't obsess over the details at this point: Just choose the one you like best.

27

Keystone Light

keystone light beer

Per 1 bottle: 101 calories, 4.7 g carbs, 4.1% ABV

Short on cash? Keystone light is one of the cheapest beers out there—and, lucky for you, it's also one of the lowest-calorie brews on the market.

28

Budweiser Select

budweiser select

Per 1 bottle: 99 calories, 3 g carbs, 4.3% ABV

Select this beer if you're a Bud drinker but want a brew that's lighter in calories than the original.

29

Yuengling Lager Light

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Per 1 bottle: 99 calories, 8.5 g carbs, 4.3% ABV

This beer goes down smooth, and with 43 percent fewer calories than regular Yuengling Lager.

30

Miller Lite

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Per 1 bottle: 96 calories, 3 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Every bar has Miller Lite on tap for a reason. When in doubt, here's your order.

31

Amstel Light

amstel light beer in glass

Per 1 bottle: 95 calories, 5 g carbs, 3.5% ABV

No frills here. Just a good beer that won't fill you out.

32

Busch Light

busch light beer

Per 1 bottle: 95 calories, 3.2 g carbs, 4.1% ABV

Light, crisp, refreshing and low-calorie. What more could you ask for?

33

Natural Light

natural light cans

Per 1 can: 95 calories, 3.2 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

Popping open a Natty Light may make you feel like you're back in college, but don't let that steer you away. Sipping the low-cal brew in lieu of your heavier go-tos may help you fit into your frat-days jeans again, too.

34

Michelob Ultra

Michelob ultra

Per 1 bottle: 95 calories, 2.6 g carbs, 4.2% ABV

You've seen the commercials, so you probably always wondered, "is Michelob Ultra good?" In terms of nutrition, the answer is, "yes!" Michelob Ultra doesn't claim our top spot because the brand has associated itself with running, cycling and living an active healthy lifestyle. It's our #1 best beer to drink on a diet because it does all that and is lower in carbs than its closest competitor—and tastes great, too. It's the #1 Best Light Beer in America.

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