Let me know what you think, but I found this article for a friend of mine, and I must admit I liked everything about it. Especially the talk about its not fat or carbs making you fat its a calorie surplus.
Light Beers: Can You Throw Them Back Guilt-Free?
Among all forms of alcohol, beer is often given the worst wrap when it comes to alcohol's effect on weight. This stigma is likely due to the fact that beer contains a fair amount of calories, as well as carbohydrates, which many still falsely associate with weight gain. In response to its bad reputation, many beer manufacturers now produce "light", "low carb", "low calorie", and "ultra light" beers...to name a few. What is the difference between light beers and their full-calorie counterparts? Read on to find out what benefits you get from opting for light beers over regular varieties.
NUTRITIONAL FACTS AND FIGURES
Before looking at the contents of a "light" beer, it is important to know the nutrient breakdown of a regular beer as a references point. A standard 12-ounce bottle or can of regular beer contains the following:
Alcohol: 4.5-5% by volume
(*Dark beers and ales range from 150-170calories)
As you can see above, beer is not "fattening" in the sense that it does not contain any fat...however, it can cause weight gain if the beer calories cause you to go into a calorie surplus (you consume more calories than you expend). About two-thirds of the calories in a regular beer come from alcohol (which contains 7 calories per gram), while the other third come from the carbohydrates (4 calories per gram) in beer.
What exactly does it mean to be "light"?
Generally, 12-ounce light beers contain about 100calories, 5grams of carbohydrates, and 3.5-4.5% alcohol by volume. The decrease in calories is mostly from a reduction in the amount of carbohydrates. You may wonder why ALL the carbohydrates are not removed from beer to further decrease the calorie content. Well, without any carbohydrates, beer would not be beer. Carbohydrates are an important component of the quality of beer because they create its body.
Although most light beers generally contain the nutrient profile above, there are a few outliers to this standard. In the United States, although light beer is understood to be lower in calories than regular beer, there is no maximum level for calorie or alcohol content of light beers and no law requiring nutritional information or alcohol content to be printed on the product. Therefore, the term "light" only means that the calorie content is reduced in relation to the brand's regular beer, NOT to all regular beers. The following table compares the nutritional value of some popular light beers.
Beer Calories Carbohydrate (grams) Alcohol %
Amstel Light 100 5 3.5
Michelob Light 135 12 4.3
Michelob Ultra 95 3 4.2
Miller Light 100 5 4.5
Sam Adams Light 125 8 4.0
Bud Light 105 5 4.5
Coors Light 100 5 4.2
Corona Light 105 5 4.1
Kirin Light 95 8 3.2
As depicted above, a perfect example of a "light" beer that is not so light is Michelob Light. Compared to a regular Michelob beer, Michelob Light only contains 20 fewer calories per 12-ounces (the equivalent of only two pieces of chewing gum!) Therefore, replacing a regular beer with Michelob Light with NOT provide your waistline with much benefit. However, consuming 2 Michelob Ultra beers instead of regular beers can save you about 100 calories, a significant amount.
What about the difference in carbohydrates?
First of all, when it comes to weight, you should not be counting carbohydrates; rather you should be concerned with calories in versus calories out. Regardless of this well-established fact, many are still irrationally obsessed with their carbohydrate intake. If you are one of these people, you may be surprised to learn that the difference in carbohydrates between most regular beers and light beers is usually no more than 5grams! Let's put this in perspective. Five grams of carbohydrates is equivalent to the carbohydrates in just 1/3 cup non-fat yogurt, 1/5th a cup of cornflakes, or 1/6th a cup of apple juice...not exactly significant quantities of food. Therefore, marketing a beer as "low-carb" is just a gimmick, since no beers are really loaded in carbohydrates.
Note: "Light" does NOT mean lower in alcohol content. Many light beers are very close to their regular counterparts in terms of alcohol potency...therefore don't think that drinking light beer means that you will get less drunk!
For all you beer drinkers out there, you may think that the new light beers on the market give you full reign to throw back the bottles without having to worry about your waistline. Unfortunately, this is simple not true! Depending on the type of light beer you drink, the reduction in calories may or may not be significant. Furthermore, most light beers have just as much alcohol as regular beers per ounce. Therefore, the impact of alcoholic beer on your health and weight depends more on the amount that you drink than the type you choose. To obtain the health benefits of beer without the potential negative side effects, women are advised to limit their consumption to no more than 12ounces/day and men to no more than 24ounces/day, regardless of whether the beer is light or regular. However, opting for the lower calorie beers may allow you to have a few additional nuts at the bar!