Beer is a popular beverage enjoyed by many globally. With responsible consumption, the right beer can offer various benefits, such as boosting brain and cardiovascular health, promoting bone density, and lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, before you consume any beer, you need to know what ingredients and nutritional facts to look for on the label. This will not only help you make an informed decision about your beer but also help you settle for a healthier option.
To help you make a quick choice, here are eight things to check on the label when looking for a healthier beer.
1. Inclusion of Real Fruit
When searching for a healthier beer, one of the vital things you should look for on the label is whether or not it includes real fruit. This is especially helpful when exploring brands that use fruit purees in brewing.
The use of fruit purees for flavorful brewing has become increasingly popular, allowing consumers to explore various unique beer flavors, from sweet and tart to earthy and smoky.
Knowing the type of fruits used to craft a particular brew can help you choose a beer that fits your taste. It can also be beneficial when looking for a drink that suits a specific occasion or meal.
2. Ingredients Used
Labels also contain vital ingredient information that could help you understand what to expect from drinking a particular beer. So, ensure you look for these details carefully.
By reading the label, you may be able to understand how ingredients in a beer react with each other, impacting the overall flavor and quality of the drink. This insight allows you to make a better choice about a beer based on your personal preferences.
In addition, ingredient information on the label states any potential allergies or sensitivities certain beer flavors may have. This can be particularly helpful for individuals trying to watch what they consume while still occasionally enjoying a beer or two.
3. Alcohol By Volume
Alcohol by Volume (ABV) is an essential indicator of the strength of beer. It measures how much alcohol is contained in each volume or ‘fluid ounce’ of the beer and specifies its alcoholic content on a percent basis.
ABV lets you know the impact of consuming a particular brew. This information is essential when deciding the level and type of drinking experience you want when taking beer.
Understanding ABV could also protect you from excessive drinking, which is vital when you plan to do activities that require concentration, such as driving. Furthermore, if you have certain dietary requirements or religious observances, you may need to be mindful of your choices when taking alcohol based on the ABV of your favorite drink.
4. Sugar Content
Consuming too much sugar can be detrimental. Therefore, you must watch your daily sugar intake to ensure a balanced positive lifestyle, free from chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Fortunately, beer labels contain sugar content information, enabling consumers to choose their drinks carefully. This also makes it easier for everyone with sugar-related diseases to enjoy their drinks without triggering their conditions.
Sugar content is often expressed in grams per liter (g/l) for each can or bottle of beer. Ideally, it would help to choose a beer that is lower than 10g/l to reduce the risk of adverse health effects resulting from excessive sugar intake.
Calories indicate the units of energy one gets from foods or drinks. Consuming the correct number of calories is essential to maintaining your energy levels. That is why you need to be mindful of the number of calories indicated on the beer label.
Most beers contain calories, thanks to the carbohydrates and alcohol present in the drink. However, the calorie level can vary based on the brewing process and alcohol content.
Generally, if you require a low-calorie intake, stick to light beers, as they contain fewer carbohydrates and less alcohol. For instance, a standard 12-ounce serving of regular beer can contain between 100 to 200 calories, while a light beer has around 55 to 120 calories per 12-ounce serving.
6. Gluten Content
Gluten content on a label shows the amount of gluten proteins and starch in beer. Gluten proteins come primarily from grains such as wheat, barley, and rye, the major raw materials used in crafting beer.
For beer lovers with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, consuming even smaller amounts of gluten can result in problems such as bloating and abdominal pain. So, if you are among those affected, look for beers with a gluten-free label.
Gluten-free beers are brewed with gluten-free grains, including millet and sorghum. But even as you choose these beers, check their ingredients to ensure they are safe for consumption by individuals with gluten intolerance.
Carbohydrates in beer come from the grains brewers use in the brewing process. These grains are usually broken down into simple sugars fermented by yeast to create alcohol.
The amount of carbohydrates may vary from brand to brand, with some light beers having as little as 3 grams per 12 ounces and standard beers producing upwards of 10 grams or more. Reading the label could help you choose the best beer, depending on your dietary recommendations.
Knowing the number of carbohydrates in a beer is not enough. You should also pay attention to the type of carbs in your drink, including starches and fiber, and how they may affect your health.
8. Added Vitamins and Minerals
While beer may not be a primary source of vitamins and minerals, some breweries include these elements in their beer products. For instance, some beers are fortified with vitamins B6 and B12 to boost metabolism and brain functionality.
It is vital to check the label of the beer you are buying if you intend to get an added nutritional benefit from your drink. But if your goal is solely to enjoy a cold brewski after a tedious day, this may not be necessary.
Some beers may contain added nutrients in levels that may trigger certain medical conditions. For example, iron-fortified beers are not recommended for individuals with iron overload. So, be sure to look for this information on the label.
If you love booze, it’s time to start looking beyond the most marketed or popular beer. Instead, make a deliberate effort to choose a healthier beer by looking at several things, including alcohol content, ingredients, gluten content, and others.
By paying attention to these factors, you can make more informed decisions and enjoy your beer while still prioritizing your health. Remember, moderation is key when it comes to alcohol consumption, and choosing a healthier beer can be a small but impactful step towards a healthier lifestyle. Cheers to making informed and healthier choices!