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Red wine is often celebrated for its healthy properties, but the ethanol found in alcoholic beverages (including beer) is what has been shown to support your ticker.

 Image of six different types and colors of beer.

Red wine is often celebrated for its healthy properties, but the ethanol found in alcoholic beverages (including beer) is what has been shown to support your ticker. Moderate amounts of alcohol can increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and reduce the risk of blood clots.

Nutritional Breakdown

Beer is made up of mostly water - about 90 to 94 percent. Alcohol (ethanol) accounts for two-thirds of a regular beer's calories and carbohydrates account for about one-third of the calories in beer. Protein is present in very small amounts in beer (but not at all in wine) - about four percent of total calories. And, like wine, beer is fat free. Although nutritional databases typically list beer as containing zero grams of fiber, studies have found that lager can contain two grams of soluble fiber per liter and dark beer can contain up to 3.5 grams of soluble fiber per liter.

Micronutrient Content

The USDA Nutrient Database found that one 12-ounce beer contains folate, B6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and silicon. Because nutritional content is influenced by the brewing process, ingredients and proportions, use these general guidelines to evaluate your brew:

  • The more malt, the more B vitamins

  • The more sugar, the more alcohol

  • The more hops, the more phytochemicals

  • "light beers" are lower in alcohol, carbohydrates, or both

  • "low carb beers" are lower in carbohydrates

  • Darker beers may have more fiber

Cheers! Remember, everything in moderation. That means two drinks for men and one drink for women per day.

Whitney Hemmer RD, LD

Whitney Hemmer RD, LD

Registered Dietitian

Whitney graduated from Iowa State University with a BA in Dietetics & is a member of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, as well as the Iowa Dietetic Association. With a focus on overall health, wellness and counseling, she is well equipped to help you with your individual nutritional needs.

Click here for more information on our dietitians.

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