Study: Beer ‘nowhere near as bad for you’ as people think and could have health benefits

I'll drink to that - study suggests beer not as unhealthy as previously thought. Pic: Deborah Kolb, Shutterstock
I'll drink to that - study suggests beer not as unhealthy as previously thought. Pic: Deborah Kolb, Shutterstock

Beer is not as bad for you as you might think and has some health benefits according to a new ‘myth busting’ report which reveals it is one of the most misunderstood tipples around.

Naturally low in sugar, with a lower calorific value compared to other alcoholic drinks, beer is ‘nowhere near as bad for you’ as you might believe.

It’s actually good for you in moderation

Fiona Hunter

A study by There’s A Beer For That has revealed that one in 10 Brits (12%) think half a pint of beer has more calories than a small glass of wine (175ml).

In actual fact beer (91 calories) contains fewer calories than wine (141 calories), according to the statistics.

A quarter of Brits (25%) think a pint of beer has more sugar than their daily Frappuccino, with a quarter not knowing that there’s actually only 2.5g sugar in half a pint of beer, compared to 35g in a tall Frappuccino.

The study also goes on to reveal a general lack of knowledge about beer, by reporting that more than a third of adults (39%) in the UK thought drinking beer makes them fat, with 29% under the impression that a half a pint of beer has more calories than a burger.

The study, carried out on 2000 adults, revealed that a quarter of Brits (25%) believe a pint of beer has more fat than a chocolate bar which is another myth dispelled as the average bar of milk chocolate has 13.5g, whereas a pint of beer (4%) has absolutely no fat whatsoever.

Fiona Hunter, one of the nutritionist experts behind the study, went one further saying that beer can actually have some health and nutritional benefits if consumed in moderation.

She said: “Beer contains fewer calories than wine but many people don’t actually realise this.

“People often talk about the health benefits associated with wine, red wine in particular, but some don’t realise that studies show that consumed in moderation, as part of a healthy balanced diet, beer is also associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

“We are aiming to dispel the myth that beer causes a ‘beer belly’ – there is no evidence to support this at all.”

Steve Livens, professional beer sommelier, added: “It’s so important to illustrate the natural process that goes into beer making and bust inaccurate myths.

“All beer is produced from four natural ingredients; hops, water, yeast and malted cereal, such as barley or wheat.”