12 Best Bets for Healthy Beer Options

If you’re looking for a “healthy” beer, unfortunately, you won’t find one.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), one of the best ways to avoiding weight gain is to consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods have a high micro-nutrient (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.) to calorie ratio. Beer is the epitome of a “low-nutrient” beverage.

The ingredients that make up beer (yeast, barley, hops, and water) result in a beverage that is calorie and carbohydrate dense, while providing little-to-no micro-nutrients. The more beer you drink, the more empty calories and carbohydrates your body is forced to process. Drink too much and too often, and you’ll end up with the time honored “beer belly.”

However, that’s not to say that you should give up your enjoyment of an icy cold brew every now and again. If you have your diet in mind, you can make more health-conscious decisions on your next beer run.

Try these guilt-free selections organized by type, so even the dark beer fans have options:

Light Beer

Budweiser® Select 55
Calories: 55
Carbohydrates: 1.9g
Alcohol Percentage: 2.4 percent

Miller® MGD 64
Calories: 64
Carbohydrates: 2.4g
Alcohol Percentage: 2.8 percent

Beck’s Premier Light
Calories: 64
Carbohydrates: 3.9g
Alcohol Percentage: 2.3 percent


Yuengling® Lager
Calories: 128
Carbohydrates: 10.1g
Alcohol Percentage: 4 percent

St. Pauli’s Girl
Calories: 148
Carbohydrates: 8.9g
Alcohol Percentage: 5 percent

Calories: 133
Carbohydrates: 10.2g
Alcohol Percentage: 4.6 percent


Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale
Calories: 132
Carbohydrates: 6.2g
Alcohol Percentage: 5.1 percent

Rolling Rock® Extra Pale Ale
Calories: 132
Carbohydrates: 10g
Alcohol Percentage: 4.5 percent

Newcastle Brown Ale
Calories: 140
Carbohydrates: 13g
Alcohol Percentage: 4.7 percent

Dark Beer

Draught Guinness®
Calories: 126
Carbohydrates: 10g
Alcohol Percentage: 4 percent

Yuengling® Porter
Calories: 150
Carbohydrates: 14g
Alcohol Percentage: 4.5 percent

Michelob Black & Tan®
Calories: 168
Carbohydrates: 15g
Alcohol Percentage: 5 percent

Drink in Moderation

At the end of every beer commercial, you hear references to “drink responsibly” or “drink in moderation,” and there’s a reason for this. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to weight gain, health complications, and drunk driving dangers.

According to the 2010 edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there’s strong evidence that moderate drinkers have a lower risk of coronary heart disease as compared to nondrinkers. What’s more, the guidelines suggest that “compared to nondrinkers, individuals who drink moderately have a slower cognitive decline with age.”

So, if you decide to pick up a six-pack this weekend, make smart choices—both in which beer you choose and the quantity you imbibe.



Health Risks and Benefits of Alcohol Consumption

U.S. Department of Agriculture Dietary Guidelines

USDA Center for Nutritional Policy and Promotion

USDA DASH Eating Plan