Alcohol if consumed in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.
The chilled brew never misses to amaze and zest up our palate but one term related to beer has always managed to roll into our conscience – “Beer Belly” . Why is this super refreshing beverage associated with such health repercussions ? Let’s find out.
- Slows down Fat Burning :
The alcohol calories we consume are not stored, they’re converted to acetate, a type of fuel that the body burns quickly. Subsequently, you burn off your alcohol calories before you burn the fat from other sources. So the original fat which was to eliminate from your body stays for longer, till the alcohol calories have been washed out. Thus, the fat requires extra activity than normal to be pushed out.
• The Calorie Saga :
The natural starch and sugar in beer causes it to have as many calories as soft drinks. At seven calories per gram, alcohol has only two calories fewer than fats which stands at nine calories per gram. Therefore apart from the sugar and starch, the more alcohol a beer has, the more calories it will contain. It must also be kept in mind that the calories in beer lack the nutrients required for a fit metabolism and will therefore expedite fat accumulation.
The high amount of carbohydrates in your beer induces insulin release, which will again urge fat storage, the overall result is added body fat.
• The Beer Belly :
Carrying extra pounds in your thighs or hips is less risky than carrying them in the abdominal region. It can lead to a variety of health problems related to heart, liver, lungs , brain and the immune system. Fat in other areas is not as dangerous as the visceral fat that’s found deep within the abdominal cavity surrounding your organs. This is why Beer in particular has such a notorious reputation.
- The Hormonal Play:
Hops found in beer contain a plant chemical named Phytoestrogen, that imitates the hormone estrogen. The levels of it in beer are likely to be very low, yet when gulped in abundance, might cause hormonal changes in men which might increase the risk of soaring belly fat. The exact effects of phytoestrogens on belly fat are unknown.
Apart from this, Prolactin is found in barley and is also present in beer and other barley beverages which can increase the estrogen level and subsequently hamper the testosterone measure. Again, it is found in a very insignificant quantity and would not have adverse effects until and unless consumed in high levels, regularly.
The remaining brackets of liquors like spirits and wine have fewer calories per standard drink (which constitutes 10ml of alcohol per drink) than beer which means they are less likely to induce weight gain and belly fat if consumed in moderation.
Over the long term, drinking beer regularly but moderately in portions of less than 500 ml per day does not seem to lead to an increase in body weight or belly fat.