Grains Trump Grapes? Beer More Healthy Than Wine

Jun 28, 2006

Contrary to popular opinion, beer is as healthy—if not more healthy—than wine, according to a university professor with an academic title any Joe Six-pack would relish.

Charles Bamforth, chairman of the food science department at the University of California at Davis and an Anheuser-Busch endowed professor, told food scientists assembled here Tuesday that beer contains valuable B vitamins, such as B12, folic acid and niacin, as well as antioxidants, such as polyphenols and ferulic acid.

Bamforth, author of the book Beer: Health and Nutrition says beer also has soluble fiber, which is good for digestion, and the active ingredient in alcohol—whether from beer or wine—helps counter blockage of the arteries.

“People say red wine is key to that,” Bamforth said. “But beer, if you looked at it holistically, is healthier than wine. But it is not perceived that way.”

“It’s entirely about perception.” And it’s those perceptions that Bamforth has recently been studying.

After polling 325 men and woman visiting breweries on both U.S. coasts and the Midwest, Bamforth found that the nutritional understanding of people about beer was largely in error.

When asked which is the healthiest alcoholic beverage, drinkers put red wine followed by white wine at the top of the list. Then came light beer, light-colored beer and then dark-beer. Actually, there’s little difference health-wise between any of them, according to Bamforth.

Does beer have sugar? Fat? Preservatives? On all counts, those polled said it did. In every instance, they were wrong. Only 39 percent believed beer contained vitamins and minerals. Few believed it contained antioxidants.

When asked to rank which sources of information they consider credible, Bamforth’s beer drinkers placed doctors at the top of the list. Bamforth claims many physicians are among those that are misinformed about beer.

“I have a friend who is a doctor who says, ‘Don’t drink beer because it has fat,’ said Bamforth. “There’s no fat in it at all.”

Bamforth says the beer industry has been slow to counter consumers’ false perceptions in part because beer companies don’t want to be perceived as pushing alcohol on teenagers.

Bamforth presented his research at that Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting + FOOD EXPO®, the world’s largest annual food science forum and exposition.

Source: Institute of Food Technologists

Explore further: Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Best Beers for Bone Health?

Feb 11, 2010

The old advertising slogan that "Guinness is Good for You" may have some truth to it after all. Every pint of the black stuff contains as much silicon as a pinch of sand -- and that silicon, according to recent but controversial ...

Research reveals link between beer and bone health

Feb 08, 2010

A new study suggests that beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, a key ingredient for increasing bone mineral density. Researchers from the Department of Food Science & Technology at the University of California, ...

Recommended for you

Sexual fantasies: Are you normal?

1 hour ago

Hoping for sex with two women is common but fantasizing about golden showers is not. That's just one of the findings from a research project that scientifically defines sexual deviation for the first time ever. It was undertaken ...

AMA 'Code of Ethics' offers guidance for physicians

7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Ethics and other articles provide guidance for physicians in relation to public health emergencies, according to a report from the AMA.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.