Can you drink beer on a diet? eDiets Director of Nutrition Services Pam Ofstein breaks down the brew, including calories, carbs and alcohol content.
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Pam Ofstein: Hi and happy Saint Patrick's Day. I am Pam Ofstein, Director of nutrition at ediets.com. I know, normally I am always talking about food, but today we're going to talk about something a little closer to this holiday, beer. Now that I might have gotten your attention. Whether you are going to be toasting tonight with a Frosty Mountain or you are opting for a nice bottle of beer. There is a lot of different beers out there and we're going to talk today about some of the health benefits, believe it or not, and some of the things you need to watch out for when you are consuming. Let's start with beer and fat. There is none, there is no fat in beer but beer does have calories, so that's the one thing you want to pay attention to. The beers nowadays range from almost 65 calories all the way up. Depending on the type of beer that you are consuming, also depends upon the calories. There is non-alcoholic beers, there is Al's, there is Stouts, there is Moggers, there is light beers, all of them have different calorie content. And general rule of thumb just to think about it, usually the darker the beer the higher the calories you are going to consumer, that also price the carbohydrate content. Beer usually has about 6-10 grams of carbohydrate but the darker beers tend to have a little bit higher, more towards the 10 number. Don't be deceived by though by the non-alcoholic beers. Although there is no alcohol in them, they still have calories and that's something that can be to pay attention to. So it's not that you can have more of those because the alcohol is not present. As you know with most beers, the alcohol content can vary as well. So depending on the type of beer, that something also to pay attention to. I am not going to lie and tell you that beer has all the great nutritional properties there that may be a glass of wine would have, all the antioxidant wine has or the vitamins and the minerals, but beer does have folly and folly has been linked to lowering heart diseases. So that may be one benefit when you are consuming it, in moderation of course. Speaking of moderation, what is it? Usually for women, it's one drink a day, and for men, no more than two drinks a day. That's what we talk about when we say moderation or limiting the consumption as much as possible. Beer is not such a bad thing. The problem is with beer is that if you are watching your weight and you are tying to panic, keep a hold of this calories are not consumed too much. May be a beer of a 100 calories isn't going to put you over the edge with that, but in may be the foods which you consume along with the beer. We make that joke about beer bellies, a lot of times as much the alcohol that causes that beer belly, what it is? It's the excess calories that we might be consuming when we are drinking. So tends to be that we you do drink, you tend to nosh a little bit more, you tend to snack a little bit more. So may be those wings that you're picking or those cases of beers or the dips with the cheese. So if you are going to have a beer or two, try to have along with it, better than it be like salsa with some dips, with type of carrots or celery, those type of things. Things that have been, that are not added, all those excess calories, and still it can be good for you. So on the Saint Patrick's Day, no problem with raising a glass or a bottle, but just make sure you are keeping it in under consumption, one drink for women, no more than two drinks for men, and you be careful and make sure you don't eat any extra of these calories. Have a good one.