Is low carb beer healthy?

by James Kerrison on July 27, 2009

Is low carb beer healthy? That’s the question I was asked this morning and it got me thinking. beer

Why would someone think that low carb beer is healthy? The obvious answer is because it has to be better than normal beer. But is it really any better? Clearly the marketing department at the major beer companies have done their research and worked hard at exploiting a vulnerable, cashed up market!

Let’s have a look.

Beer is made from the brewing and fermenting of starches derived from grains. It is one of the most popular drinks in the world after water, tea and coffee. So you can see that there is a lot at stake for these large corporations.

Most full strength beers have and alcohol content around 4.6%. This combined with a carbohydrate content of  around 10 grams for every 375ml means that can that you are drinking you are getting between 35-42 worth of rubbish calories each time you knock back a can.

Compare this to the low carb beers that are quite fashionable these days. These low carb beers have an alcohol content of 4.6% which is the same in comparison to their full strength cousins. Now the lower carbohydrate content means that you are getting around 28 calories per 375ml can which is less but not a significant amount of difference.

From a health perspective it is better to drink less alcohol and take in fewer carbohydrates. So from this point of view it would be better to be drinking a light beer which has less alcohol (and similar calories) than either the full strength or low carb beers.

The reason these beers have been produced and promoted is because with a small amount of knowledge, the consumer believes they know what is good for them. If they hear a message that limiting processed carbohydrates will make them healthier and leaner then ‘of course’ the low carb alternative will be better for them.

These marketers know this and it’s all about their bottom line, not yours.

So the verdict.

If you are serious about losing weight, especially belly fat, then the best thing to do would be skip the alcohol altogether.

I can’t recommend the low carb beer over normal beer because the difference is so minimal.

What do you think?

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