Guinness is… not as bad for you as I previously thought

One minor quibble about the latest thing-that-used-to-be-thought-of-as-bad-for-you is actually good for you report. Since I can’t find the abstract online, the following quote will have to do:

A pint of the black stuff a day may work as well as an aspirin to prevent heart clots that raise the risk of heart attacks.
Drinking lager does not yield the same benefits, experts from University of Wisconsin told a conference in the US.

So, they compared a pint of guinness to a pint of lager. First off, that’s already misleading because goodness knows what sort of effect lager has compared to say, water, or wine, or tea. Well, maybe somebody does know; I’m just too lazy to do the citation search right now. But to give them credit where it’s due, people are probably more interested in knowing the comparison in health benefits of the category of drink (although you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who swings between lagers and stouts that often).

Thinking some more1, it occurred to me that Guinness has an alcohol composition of anywhere from 4% to 7.5%, and lager, depending on brand, has the same range of alcohol content. Alcohol has known blood “thinning” effects. For the study to have been well-controlled, they would hopefully have used two drinks with the same alcohol content.

On the back of that, curiosity about sugar content (or calorie count) entered my mind, which led me to debunk my lifelong prejudice against Guinness. There’s very little difference in caloric content between Guinness and say, an American Budweiser2 of the same volume. If anything, draught Guinness has fewer calories than Budweiser per volume. The prevailing thought throughout Uni years was that a pint of Guinness was the equivalent of a Mars bar at nearly 300 kcal per regular sized bar. Turns out it’s only just over half of that at 170 kcal/pint.

Quibbles about the research aside, this report at least opened my eyes to one of my ill-conceived objections to Guinness. Now, if only they could do something about that nasty taste…

1 Yes, I’m work-avoiding again.

2 Not that I admit to drinking that insipid excuse for a beer.


2 thoughts on “Guinness is… not as bad for you as I previously thought

  1. Such non-sense quibbling about the taste of Guinness. If you think any American Domestic Beer (ADB) has flavor that your olfactory senses are from Mars. ADB is crap, there is nothing naturally good about it especially its ‘lack of flavor’. Excuse me Mr. bartender,..? May I have a flavor packet with this Budweiser?

    We call you who drink ADB and scoff at real beer ‘Baby Tongues”

    Someday you may ween yourself from the ADB crap and strap on a set of balls and drink a real beer.

    “Guinness – made for real people and not for babies”

    • Hi Peggy,
      There’s no need to take umbrage. Everyone has different taste buds and standards. I personally don’t drink Budweiser or other light beers, and prefer a good Scottish Ale instead, but that is besides the point. Usage of Budweiser as a standard for comparison was due to laziness to do further research on the percentage of alcohol in any random beer. You may want to re-read the post with an image of the author with her tongue in cheek (it generally is; life is too short to be so serious).

      Incidentally, said author is probably not from Earth. Your guess of Mars may not be far off.

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