Cracking open a couple of beers after a long day is something many people look forward to and enjoy as part of their evening routine. If you're one of these people, it's wise to consider just what those two daily beers might be doing to your health, some of it potentially beneficial and some of it potentially harmful. Once you have all the necessary beer-related facts, you can determine if the beverage will continue to earn a spot in your daily diet.
Worry About Your Waistline
A beer belly isn't a myth. Too much beer, like too much of any food or drink, can cause you to gain unwanted pounds. If you don't factor in the calories in two beers a day into your daily caloric intake, you could end up gaining weight. This is particularly true if you don't burn enough calories to negate the two beers. Apart from how you might not like the way a beer belly looks, being overweight comes with added health risks, such as a higher chance of developing type-2 diabetes or heart disease. Two regular beers clock in at about 306 calories, while two light beers add 206 calories to your daily diet.
Benefits of Beer
There is some good news when it comes to drinking a moderate amount of beer every day. According to a 2008 article published in "Biofactors," drinking a moderate amount can reduce the risk of heart disease. The compounds in the hops used to make beer can help lower your cholesterol levels and risk of hardening of the arteries, two risk factors for a heart attack. Moderate intake of beer can also boost bone mineral density, notes a 2009 article published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." A 2010 article published in the "Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology" reports that certain compounds in hops might also help prevent skin cancer and other skin disorders.
Wait ... It's Not All Good
The article in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" notes that while moderate beer intake can help retain bone mineral density, drinking large amounts can have the opposite effect, thereby increasing the risk of soft bones and osteoporosis. Heavy drinking isn't good for your heart either. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that heavy drinking, including too much beer, puts you at an increased risk for liver and pancreas problems, certain types of cancer and accidental injury or death.
Beer and Your Daily Diet
The trick to reaping the positive health effects of beer and avoiding the negative effects is to drink in moderation. According to the CDC, moderation means that women drink no more than one drink a day and that men have no more than two. A 12-ounce beer is equal to one drink. If you're male, two beers a day might have a positive impact on your health, but if you're female, those two beers a day might do more harm than good. Females should stick to one beer a day to reap the potential benefits of the beverage.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Alcoholic Beverage, Beer, Regular, All
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Alcoholic Beverage, Beer, Light
- Biofactors: Beer and Health: Preventative Effects of Beer Components on Lifestyle-Related Diseases
- American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effects of Beer, Wine and Liquor Intakes on Bone Mineral Density in Older Men and Women
- Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology: Beer and Beer Compounds: Physiological Effects on Skin Health
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Alcohol and Public Health