Walk around most grocery stores and you’ll likely see a label reader — someone who is checking the nutrition labels on the products they’re considering. Knowing what’s in the foods you eat and serve is a great way to ensure you’re getting a healthy diet.
Soon you may start seeing label readers in your store’s beer section. Yep, most major brewers will soon voluntarily introduce nutrition labels on their beers. The labels you’ll see when they’re available may list:
The beer industry’s nutrition label initiative asks brewers to comply by the end of 2020. The information can be presented in a list, on a website or accessed via a QR code (quick response code) that you can scan with your smartphone. Some brewers already provide nutrition information on their packaging.
A recent study shows that 70 percent of beer drinkers think it’s important to read nutrition labels when buying food and beverages.
The information the beer labels will provide may be a step forward in helping to curb the American obesity crisis (more than a third of us are obese) and controlling diabetes (one in ten of us have diabetes, but many haven’t been diagnosed).
For those with diabetes, alcohol can be a particular health problem. When you drink alcohol, it moves quickly into your bloodstream. It’s not metabolized in the stomach. It usually takes about two hours for your liver to metabolized a drink.
Because your liver is busy working to remove alcohol from your blood, its main job of regulating your blood sugar slows, which can result in low blood-sugar levels in some diabetics. This can cause sleepiness, dizziness and disorientation. When paired with the mental impairment of alcohol, this reaction can be a dangerous 1-2 punch.
Thanks to the new labels, beer drinkers will know their beers’ calories, carbohydrates, alcohol content and more. You may already know that alcohol is relatively high in calories. A can of beer is around 153 calories. Some stouts and porters can be 200 calories. How you include beer in your diet is up to you. Just be aware of how much may be too much for you.
If you have questions about alcohol use, visit with your health care provider.