Beer Could Be Worse For Your Waistline Than Sugary Drinks

| June 5, 2017

On a hot summer’s day, after mowing the half-acre prairie around my house (it doesn’t deserve to be called a lawn), I reckon I’ve earned a cold beer. But recent research suggests that glass of beer could have an expanding effect on my waistline.

Of course, we know that people who habitually drink a lot of beer often develop a “beer belly”. But what harm does just one glass do? Well, according to a Spanish study, replacing a daily beer with a glass of water could reduce the risk of obesity by 20 per cent, while swapping one sugary drink a day for water lowers the risk by 15 per cent.1

Researchers at the University of Navarra followed 15,765 adults, none of whom was obese at the start of the study, for a four-year period. During this time, 873 of the participants became obese.

Based on food-frequency questionnaires, and by using mathematical models, the scientists investigated how substituting one serving a day of water for one of 16 other beverages might affect obesity risk. Replacing beer and sugar-sweetened drinks made the biggest difference, with beer having the strongest link to weight gain and obesity.

Does this mean beer is a worse option than sugary drinks? Well, there’s more to it than the risk of putting on weight. Sugar, as we well know, plays havoc throughout the body and, independently of weight gain, is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Beer, on the other hand, does have some saving graces.

Beer is an excellent source of bioavailable silicon, an important mineral for bones, hair, skin and nails. Silicon also helps keep the walls of blood vessels elastic, reducing the risks of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. And the hops used in brewing beer contain bitter phytochemicals, such as xanthohumol, which in animal studies have lowered blood sugar and cholesterol levels.2

So, I’ll still enjoy the occasional beer – but only one, and not every day. Perhaps a healthier way to chill out is to take up yoga, which has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in just 10 days. More on this in my next blog post.

Wishing you the best of health,

Martin Hum
PhD DHD Nutritionist
for Real Diabetes Truth

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1. Fresán U, Gea A, Bes-Rastrollo M, Ruiz-Canela M, Martínez-Gonzalez MA. Substitution models of water for other beverages, and the incidence of obesity and weight gain in the SUN Cohort. Nutrients. 2016; 8(11) pii: E688.

2. Miranda CL, Elias VD, Hay JJ, Choi J, Reed RL, Stevens JF. Xanthohumol improves dysfunctional glucose and lipid metabolism in diet-induced obese C57BL/6J mice. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2016; 599:22-30.

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