Beer doesn’t always get the best rep, often inviting images of sloppy spring breakers passed out in inner tubes. And when’s the last time someone sported a “wine belly”? But studies suggest moderate alcohol consumption — including cold brewskies — might reduce the risk of heart disease and help keep cholesterol levels in check Králová Lesná I., Suchánek P., Stávek P. et al. Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine - IKEM, Centre for Cardiovascular Research, Prague, Czech Republic. Physiological Research 2010;59(3):407-13 Denke, M.A. Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 2000 Nov;320(5):320-6. Maybe it’s time to reconsider grabbing that Cabernet in place of Corona.

Beer's To Your Health — The Takeaway

Wine has long been touted for its contributions toward , but regardless of the type of drink, moderate alcohol consumption has been linked with an increase in HDL cholesterol, the “,” that can reduce the risk of heart disease Králová Lesná I., Suchánek P., Stávek P. et al. Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine - IKEM, Centre for Cardiovascular Research, Prague, Czech Republic. Physiological Research 2010;59(3):407-13. And though wine and beer have similar quantities of antioxidants, quality beer has significantly more protein and heart-healthy B vitamins Denke, M.A. Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 2000 Nov;320(5):320-6 Tucker, K.L. Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University. Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine 2004 Aug;6(4):291-302. So don’t feel guilty when reaching past that delicate glass of lukewarm Merlot for the ice-cold ale on a hot summer day — research suggests they pack similar punch in reducing the risk and development of coronary disease Rimm, E.B., Klatsky, A., Grobbee, D. Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health. BMJ 1996 Mar 23;312(7033):731-6..

For greater nutritive value, opt for unfiltered varieties of beer, which tend to have even more protein and vitamins. Of course, to maximize its benefits, the most important tip is to drink in moderation, up to two drinks per day for men and one for women Denke, M.A. Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences 2000 Nov;320(5):320-6. As with any alcoholic drink, though, the pitfalls of excess like alcohol poisoning can quickly outweigh the benefits. So be wise, drink responsibly, and enjoy a beer-friendly summer.

The Tip

Consider drinking beer for a healthier heart.