Those with bad vices are always looking for a justification for their bad habits. The red wine drinkers got it with the antioxidants in red wine. Now beer drinkers just may have their turn to claim that beer is actually good for you.
These are not just tall tales from hopeful execs, either — though those execs are certainly using the information to their advantage. A Heineken bigwig claimed in November of 2012 that beer was everything that was healthy. Evidently, beer is the new vegetable. In fact, beer is getting its own space on the Food Pyramid.
Beer has shown positive effects on health when used in moderation in scientific testing, according to a report by Forbes.com. Scientific testing is not you and your buddies down at the bar or pub on a Friday night. Instead, such testing involves complex calculations and intricate concepts such as measuring, wearing white lab coats, and data. If science is on beer’s side, then you should be too!
Healthy Elements of Beer
Beer has been shown to have a multitude of health benefits. This does not include the beer goggle phenomenon, which has been shown through multiple testing to have disastrous side effects.
Beer contains vitamins and minerals that are good for a growing body, and beer certainly has fewer calories than other beverages — as pointed out by this Heineken exec. Beer definitely isn’t as fattening as drinking a can of, say, bacon grease or heavy cream.
Beer is also high in water. Water has been proven by science to be beneficial for people in general. If you aren’t getting enough water in your diet, then it may be a lack of beer—a beer deficiency, so to speak.
Beyond the healthfulness of vitamins and minerals, there are other proven health benefits of the good brew. First, beer in moderation is good for your cholesterol. It raises your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is a fancy way of saying Good Cholesterol.
That is the cholesterol that fights Bad Cholesterol, or LDL Cholesterol. If cholesterol was a Western, then HDL cholesterol would wear a white cowboy hat and silver badge.
Studies have shown that moderate beer intake can lower a man’s chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. Along with raising Good Cholesterol, beer also lessens the chances of blood clots forming in the veins.
Beer is good for the brain as well, according to the results of teams of scientists in white lab coats measuring data and looking into microscopes around the clock. While these studies don’t prove that anyone is a better driver after a few beers, they have found that beer has been shown to improve brain function.
Moderate beer drinkers were determined to be less likely to develop dementia later in life. Other studies showed that beer might increase the brain function of women. No word on beer’s effect on men’s brain functions, however. Wonder why?
Definition of Moderate Beer Intake
All of the studies performed by the scientists and their microscopes have shown benefits of beer only when used in moderation. So what is moderation, anyway?
According to the experts, moderate beer drinking amounts to no more than 24 ounces a day for men and no more than 12 ounces for women. In the grand scheme of things, one or two beers a day is not a lot.
Those daily quotas cannot be stored up and used all at the same time like life points on a video game. Adverse health effects have been show to occur from overdrinking, beyond the staggering, throwing up, and bad hangover the next morning.
For instance, studies showed that men who drank more than four drinks in one sitting raised their risk of dying of heart disease by 30%. It is also thought that higher beer consumption can increase the chances of breast cancer in women. Obviously, a lot of beers do not heart boobies!
When Beer Isn’t Healthy
Each individual will have to examine his or her own daily beer consumption to ensure that the levels ingested stay within the parameters of what is considered moderation. This may or may not require the use of a white lab coat and microscope.
For instance, any beer consumption that includes a funnel is likely not considered moderate. Also, if anyone is chanting, “Chug! Chug! Chug!” while you drink beer, then that’s likely outside the realm of moderate as well.
Furthermore, if your main source of income on your taxes is your returned beer cans, or you can easily build a Christmas Tree from beer cans at any point in the week, then you likely drink more than the limit of moderation.
If beer manufacturers send you thank-you notes or birthday cards, then you probably aren’t a moderate drinker. Somewhere, a scientist in a white lab coat is crying into a microscope for you. Perhaps it’s time to aim for moderation.