Beer calorie counts add up, dietician says
For many Americans, an ice-cold beer is the drink of choice to unwind at night, while taking in a sporting event or just hanging out with friends.
In fact, as many as one-third of adults have at least one beer a week.
Even if you're going with a light brew, though, a close look at the label can mean a lot for your waistline. Several beers, both domestic and imported, may surprise you with the amount of calories and carbohydrates packed into one can, bottle or pint.
"I think it's kind of humorous that beer has a nutrition label at all," Rebecca Stritchfield, a Washington-based dietician, says. "It's not health food."
Some beer drinkers don't even care to think about how many calories they're putting down while knocking back a few.
"I'm not worried about calories," Arlington resident Shaun Coon says. "I burn them off at the gym anyway."
For instance, a single bottle of Blue Moon, a popular wheat beer, has 171 calories per serving. Compare that to several light brands - Bud Light has 110, Becks Premier Light has 64 and Bud Select has just 55 - the heavier beer packs a punch.
Even the difference between a Guinness Extra Stout (176 calories) and a standard Guinness Draught (125 calories) is noticeable.
Stritchfield warns that drinking too much over the years can definitely make you fat, but that a few beers in moderation is the way to go.
"If you're having a beer with dinner and you're sticking with one or two, go for what you enjoy more," she says.