Beer is NOT unhealthy

By Jessica Mason contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beer doesn't make you fat
Beer doesn't make you fat

Related tags: Beer, Alcoholic beverage

Back in the spring, I posted a picture on my Instagram feed of my torso with the caption: ‘Getting there’.

It sounds like a desperately egocentric thing to do. But I did it for a few reasons and one of which became clear when a friend commented on the picture: “Impressive. How do you look like that with all those beers you have to taste?”

My response was: “Measure for measure, beer contains fewer calories than any other alcoholic drink. Beer is not fattening.”

I say this as a woman who is 36 years old this month, who has two children (one of which was 11lbs when he was born) and spends her time when she is not in a bar sipping a beer, sitting sedentary at a desk typing. I say this as a woman who is constantly frustrated by the misunderstanding about beer and pubs.

But it seems like an ongoing conversation.

I learnt a lot from a good friend of mine Jane Peyton aka School of Booze. She’s a beer evangelist and also pretty trim, don’t you know.

The “beer belly” is a myth; the “beer gut” just a lazy (and inaccurate) term to describe those portly people who you used to see standing outside of pubs with pregnant-looking tums. Stop using the term, stop saying it. It’s not a great way to market pubs, because it is not an aspirational image. Plus, it’s just untrue. This coincides with a recent study showing how many people wrongly assume that beer makes you fat​. Beer doesn’t make you fat. Beer is not sugary or calorific. It has no fat in it.

So, where did we all go wrong in thinking that the two were intrinsically linked?

Women, men, people who are interested in their health, their fitness and their figure, here’s the thing: We see those portly bellies and we see those beers being consumed, but what we do not see is what those people also consume. (Usually, lots of carbohydrates).

Plus, there’s that socially acceptable phrase often peddled by wine-loving women: “I can’t drink beer, it makes me feel bloated” – seriously, over the past 15 years at least this has also become as over-used as the “I can’t drink red wine it gives me a headache.” No, just no.

Too much wine (or of any​ drink) might give you a headache. Just like too much of anything​ with a lot of carbonation (various mass produced lagers, sparkling water, Champagne, fizzy soft drinks) will make you feel bloated – it’s the bubbles.

But then there’s something else to tackle, the “ladylike” issue.

Lots of people still think that beer is unfeminine​. They have issues with the glassware - or rather, the perception of the glassware.

These barriers to the consumption of what is without a doubt the nation’s greatest drink really do have to stop.

Pubs are not just for burly men.

Beer isn’t either.

I’ve learned an enormous amount about metabolism over the past year and about how portion size, ingredients, timing and temperature of food and drink all play a role in staying healthy, fit and well. I say this having spent all of this year in and out of pubs, sometimes indulging and sometimes not. In the meantime, I have also reduced three clothing sizes. All by educating myself.

I would say that the true myths out there about food and drink are created by the supermarkets and their willingness to stock so called “healthy food” which is processed and bad for you.

I might also remind that pubs are not supermarkets. They are a hell of a lot more atmospheric.

They also sell some great beer that won’t​ make you fat.

Related topics: Beer

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