Feeling guilty about the mass quantities of beer we consumed over the past week, we decided to check out some of the rumors we recently heard about beer being … well, good for you.
Turns out that having one to three glasses of beer a day has been proven to have benefits for your health—as much and even more than red wine.
The facts are simple. As an alcoholic beverage, beer has the same ability to prevent blood clotting and lower cholesterol, thereby preventing stroke and heart disease, as Merlot and martinis do. Unlike wine, however, the unfiltered yeast in many beers (look for the hazy ones, not the clear ones) contains a crapload of B vitamins—far more than wines, which are almost always filtered. Also, beer has more vitamins and minerals in general because it is made from barely and wheat, and these grains retain nutrients much better than grapes do by the end of the wine-making process.
You might be remembering Bill Cosby’s legendary decision (skip to 4:25) to give his children chocolate cake for breakfast, based on his faulty logic: since eggs, milk and wheat are ingredients in cake, it must be a nutritious breakfast. It was easy for Mr. Jello Pudding Pops to ignore the sugar and fat for comedic purposes, but how can we ignore beer bellies, liver damage, and the big A (think “anonymous”) when promoting daily beer consumption?
Well, we can’t. It’s obvious that people should not start drinking beer just to have a 10% to 40% less likely chance of developing heart disease, which they can more easily avoid through a healthy diet and regular exercise. It’s even more obvious that people should not drink a LOT of beer EVERYDAY. But it’s also become obvious that drinking beer in moderation, which is defined fairly liberally in our opinion, is not as bad as most people think it is. In fact, it’s actually a pretty good idea and perhaps an even better idea than having a glass of red wine a day.
We were so encouraged by this argument that despite swearing to give beer a break this week, we bought some Ayinger Hefeweizen at our neighborhood corner store and helped our hearts out a little last night. Prost, little guys. Keep on tickin’.