It’s Octoberfest month! Read on for a great article on the pros and cons of Beer!!


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The Good, The Bad & The Brewski


Somewhere in the world right now, it’s beer thirty.

Though healthy chicks are typically washing a meal down with water from the tap, every once in a Blue Moon – pun intended – we crave something else from the tap. I’m talking about washing it down with an ice, cold beer.

Established in 1810 to celebrate prince Ludwig & Princess Therese’s marriage in Bavaria, Oktoberfest has gone from a local wedding party to a global excuse to drink your face off.

With beer flowing like Niagara Falls at fairgrounds, restaurants and even house parties, it’s hard not to get wrapped up in it one way or another. Who can deny that a beer, a pretzel, and lederhosen are great fun?

Well, before you grab the beer bong and regress to your sorority days, you may want to know the pros and cons of our favorite Autumnal alcoholic beverage.

The Pros of Beer

  • Beer is fat-free
  • Beer is a low sugar beverage (not like that margarita you’ve been eyeballing)
  • Beer has no cholesterol
  • Since most beer contains malted barley, it is a source of soluble fiber, aiding in healthy bowel function and slowing digestion and absorption of food. You may be surprised to know that a liter of beer contains an average of 20-percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, while some can provide up to 60-percent!
  • Moderate consumption of beer has been shown to reduce stress and the chances of heart disease. I repeat, moderate!
  • Beer contains significant amounts of magnesium, selenium, potassium, phosphorus, biotin, and is chock-full of vitamin B

The Cons of Beer

  • One 12-ounce serving of “regular” (150 calories) beer per night adds more than 1,000 calories a week to a diet, working out to an extra 15 pounds per year. One light beer per night adds 10 pounds.
  • There are about seven calories per gram of alcohol, so the higher the alcohol content, the more caloric it is. Just to give you an idea of how high that is in relation to other foods, there are four calories per gram of carbohydrates or protein, and nine calories per gram of fat.
  • Even though beer contains no sugar, the alcohol affects your blood sugar levels causing them to drop more rapidly. This can cause low energy and stimulate your appetite, thereby causing you to overeat like a piggy.
  • Why do we get a beer belly? Remember that beer has all sorts of vitamins. Well, because alcohol interferes with the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals, it can lessen the body’s ability to burn stored fat. And since alcohol is detoxified by the liver, metabolizing excess quantities of alcohol causes the liver to swell, thereby filling with fat.
  • Alcohol destroys vitamin C and vitamin B complex. So look for beers that have not filtered out the vitamin B, as those will help in combating the negative effects of alcohol, ie. Hangovers?
  • Most beers contain wheat and barley so those with Celiacs Disease, or a sensitivity to gluten, have to chill on conventional brews (see below). They can wreak havoc in their bodies causing side effects that vary from uncomfortable gas to difficulty breathing.

There you have it. Beer definitely has some good attributes, but it’s important to know the negative aspects. If you’re going to indulge, be sure to choose your brews wisely. Gluten-free beers are less bloating, those with lower alcohol levels are less caloric, and those that still have vitamin B will make you feel less crappy.

There are so many great new organic, gluten-free and healthier beers on the market. While they may be a bit pricier then a PBR, remember, you get what you pay for.

Never forget, bitches: Drinking in moderation is always the key!

Happy Oktoberfest! Viel Vergnügen!

Carolyn Scott-Hamilton
An avid traveler and crusader for health nuts around the world, Carolyn Scott-Hamilton is the executive producer, creator, host and writer of The Healthy Voyager web series & radio show, site, blog, brand and social network. Check out www.healthyvoyager.com.

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Amy Sorter is the co-founder of EcoSavvyMoms.com. She spent 10 years in marketing and sales for Fortune 500 companies before deciding to dust off her Journalism degree and try to do something that makes a difference in the World. She is a mother, animal rights activist and is passionate about preserving our environment.       From an early age my mother taught me about living green. She... Read More

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