Many beer companies have been creating beers with titles such as "light" and "ultra." But, just how much lighter are these beers and are they really that much better for you? Are these companies just misleading you with their product's names and their advertising? Or, are these beers really low-calorie, low-carb and have no negative consequences?
What Exactly Are Light Beers?
Without going into the gritty details, beer manufacturers use different techniques in brewing light beer than they do regular beer. Some of the changes made to the brewing process include higher temperature, different enzymes and additives such as rice. Also, many times light beer is simply watered-down; companies add more water to the light beer batches so that it will have less calories per bottle.
How Much Lighter Is Light Beer?
Each beer company has its own version of a light beer, whether it's low-calorie or the low-carb side. This beer has its own calorie and carbohydrate content. However, there are some essential differences to light beer when compared to regular beer. For example, most light beers are around 20 to 50 calories less than their regular beer counterparts. And, light beers have anywhere from about 4 to 10 carbohydrates less than the original blends.
What Do These Numbers Mean to Your Waistline?
Saving only 20 or 30 calories may not seem like much to you now, but consider those nights when you go out and end up having more than a few beers. At the end of the day, you may end up saving yourself around 150 calories and 20 carbohydrates or so. These numbers could be important to you if you are following a strict diet and trying to lose weight.
If you know you will be drinking alcohol later in the evening, you could prepare by eating healthier meals throughout the day. Just remember, even though lighter beer is less calories than regular beer, these are still empty calories to your body...and they add up fast!
Maltose and Beer Bellies
Maltose is a sugar that is contained in all beers, both light and regular. This sugar is extremly high in the glycemic index and is the precise culprit for the dreaded "beer belly." This sugar works in your body in a way that makes your body store fat in the region around your waistline. For this reason, drinking any kind of beer, including light beer, in excess is not going to do you any favors. Instead, try red wine for a low calorie and healthier alcoholic beverage.