By James Madeiros
Why is it that wine always gets a nod from the health nuts while beer is frowned upon as a cheap, calorie-ridden indulgence?
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s nothing more than a combination of superior marketing skills, bourgeois attitudes and the hard facts about the difference in demographics between two very distinct groups of consumers.
The simple answer is that wine in X quantity (be it a glass or a gallon) is no better or worse for the average drinker than beer in a comparable quantity. In fact, wine may have a worse effect on some drinkers due to tannins that cause harsher hangovers.
Both have demonstrated an ability to lower the chances of osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s and heart disease. The key flaw in earlier studies that championed wine was that researchers failed to accurately account for the lifestyle differences between wine drinkers and beer drinkers. Wine appeared to win out because wine drinkers tended to be younger, healthier, smoked less and were more physically fit than their beer-swilling counterparts.
Beer advocates are quick to tout studies that also show brew’s ability to reduce the incidence of kidney stones in men and lower blood pressure in women. Some would say that puts beer in the lead in the health race between the two, especially considering the beating taken by resveratrol (red wine’s so-called “miracle molecule”) in the press.
Of course, there’s no need to be nasty. There’s enough positive research out there to give both booze choices a rosy glow, although at the end of the day it’s important to remember that neither beverage is going to do you any favors in large quantities.
I should remind everyone that our blog entries are for your information only and are not intended as medical advice. Because everyone is different, you should work with your medical professional to determine what’s best for you. If you’re going to drink, do it legally and responsibly; don’t be stupid =).