The Worst Beer Mistake You Can Make, Experts Say
You know it's not the greatest part of your diet—but sometimes, you just enjoy having a brew (especially when a brand like Sam Adams has just announced their beer releases for this coming fall). But how indulgent is beer, really? A doctor and dietitian spill the truth, while together they share one key recommendation to help you sip your beer without wrecking your health… along with your waistline.
Especially if you're trying to lose weight, there are a few good reminders that should be served along with your beer. That's according to Howard Grossman, MD, a member of the Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board; and Karen Graham, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian in Canada with 30 years of experience, as well as a certified diabetes educator and the author of multiple books.
Keep reading to learn these experts' insights on what beer is actually doing to your health.
You know this: Beer is loaded with calories.
Cutting straight to the chase, Graham says, "I think the worst beer mistake you can make is thinking that beer is a light food." In fact, in Diabetes Meals for Good Health Cookbook, she states: "One beer has about the same calories as two slices of bread."
That's an interesting perspective when you consider how that can add up. "Six beers have 900 calories, equal to about a loaf of bread," Graham advises. "That's a lot."
Grossman agrees, saying, "The weight gain from beer is from the excess calories it adds." (That makes sense, right? Check out You Should Be Eating This Many Calories to Lose Weight, Say Experts.)
Beer is full of carbs.
For dieters who are mindful of carbohydrate consumption, Grossman shares a warning: "Beer does have a high level of carbohydrates," he says, "so if people are watching their carbs, beer is not a good choice."
The tip both our pros agree on.
Grossman and Graham aren't necessarily saying that you should cut beer altogether. But, especially in the age when heavier artisanal beers are seeing so much popularity, you probably want to consider balancing things out.
Dietitian Graham's advice? Look for light or ultralight beers to reduce calories and carbs.
Dr. Grossman agrees. "Light beer has less carbs," he says. "Tradeoff."
If you're looking for a light beer to try, check out the 13 Best Light Beers on Grocery Store Shelves.
Beer's not all bad.
We're definitely not in the business of suggesting you should stop eating and drinking everything you like—there are just tips that can help you make wiser choices. (To get them daily, sign up for the Eat This, Not That! newsletter.)
Plus, some studies have shown beer may actually serve up some benefits. Check out One Major Effect Drinking Beer Has on Heart Disease, New Study Says and 4 Major Effects Drinking Beer Has on Your Health, New Study Says.