Wait… I should drink beer every day?
Seems like the American Dietetics Association’s Winter 2011 magazine issue lauds the health benefits of beer, namely craft beer of darker color. I’ve been waiting for this day. I guess you have to do what the doctors tell you, right?
To be fair, drinking a small amount of alcohol *in general* has shown to have some health benefits:
Moderate consumption of alcoholic beverage, including beer, increases HdL cholesterol, lowers LDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of blood clotting by lowering fibrinogen and blood platelet aggregation. Moderate alcohol consumption has also been associated with a lower incidence of gallstones, decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and improved cognitive function in older adults.
So the winos have a point on the board already, since studies on red wine have been published before. Damn them and their pretentious, ruffly shirts.
But thankfully for the beer crowd, the ADA loves nutritional assessments. “Regular” (dunno what that means) beer beats out table wine in 17 out of 21 categories for protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements (because everyone needs their daily intake of selenium). Score 17 for beer.
The end of the article highlights empirical nutritional benefits using some general rules:
- The more malt in the brew, the more B-vitamins.
- The more sugar in the wort, the more alcohol.
- The more hops, the more phytochemicals.
- Darker beers may have more ﬁber.
This might be obvious to people who brew beer and are familiar with their ingredients, but look at it this way: you can tell your merlot-championing friends that you get more nutritional value with your libation.
I think I’ll look into using beer as a workout recovery drink. Back with the results later.
NOTE: If any dietetic types know what beer the ADA used for its calibration of “regular” beer, I’d like to know!