As a general rule, I don’t encourage my patients to drink alcohol but if you do choose to drink you may want to think about the health benefits of beer versus wine.
Some people may claim that, “you had me at merlot,” but for others- their drink of choice is an ice, cold beer. Red wine has a popular reputation among health officials and society due to its health benefits when consumed consistently and in moderation*3; however, there has not been the same support for beer.1 Recent studies suggest that maybe the benefits lie within the alcohol content rather than just red wine.2
Beer: 0 Wine: 0
It is true that red wine contains substances that could reduce many symptoms and steps of heart disease and atherosclerosis (the hardening of arteries.) However, health professionals report that in practice, the decision to drink red wine versus beer is irrelevant. In fact, moderate drinkers of any alcoholic substance were found to have 30-35% less chance of having a heart attack when compared to non-drinkers.2 Cheers to red wine and beer!
Beer: 1 Wine: 1
In terms of volume, the recommend amount of beer and wine (a 12 oz. beer and 4 oz. of wine) make the contest seem unfair. Is bigger better? After breaking down the content of a beer versus a glass of wine, beer has more calories, over two times the fluid ounces of water, greater protein content, less sugar, and less alcohol than wine. Beer contains more vitamin amounts than red wine and has greater amounts of minerals in 7 out of the 11 minerals compared to red wine.1 Beer takes the lead!
Beer: 3 Wine: 1
At the end of the game, red wine’s antioxidant benefits are not fully understood and may go beyond the scope of just heart disease. However, in actual practice it is the alcohol content that is associated with decreasing the risk of heart attack. Both wine and beer have been found to be associated with an increased energy intake.4 Please talk to your doctor about what is best for you. As for beer vs. wine, let’s call it a tie. It’s up to you to determine your taste and price preferences!
Co-Author: Tiffany Esinhart
*Dietary Guidelines for American3
Women: one alcoholic beverage per day
Men: no more than two alcoholic beverages per day
- “The Buzz on Beer: American Dietetic Association Offers a Toast to Good Health During American Heart Month.” Media Press Room. Eat Right. American Dietetic Association, 10 Feb. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. <http://www.eatright.org/Media/content.aspx?id=6442462410>.
- “Is Wine Fine, or Beer Better?” The Nutrition Source. Harvard School Of Public Health, n.d. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. <http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/is-wine-fine-or-beer-better/index.html>.
- “Frequently Asked Questions.” Alcohol And Public Health. CDC, 28 Oct. 2011. Web. 9 Nov. 2011. <http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm>.