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Apr 6, 2007 11:00 PM

Need a light/low carb beer for beer lover on a diet

Is there a light beer or low-carb beer that's actually good?

My beer-loving friend just started the South Beach diet. And he's pre-diabetic. But it's his birthday, when I traditionally give him a six-pack or two of beer.

In his pre-diet days, he was a fan of good German beer. Is there anything on the market that he might like, or should I just give him some socks?


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  1. I read the The South Beach Diet book and the author stressed the point that beer is really bad (due to the fact that maltose has a higher glycemic index than any other sugar). And the fact that you bring up "prediabetic" compels me to recommend getting a doctor's advice as to what he can drink and how much (sorry for the lecture). At any rate, it goes without saying that there is no "good" light beer. Certainly nothing that comes close to good German beer. However, of all the ones I've tried I thought Yuengling Light Lager (NOT the Premium Light, mind you) and Grolsch Light were the best.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Psychobabble

      I believe that most Hefe-Weizen are about 110 calories per 12oz bottle. Check it out.

      1. re: Psychobabble

        The author retracted the maltose statement, admitting that he was incorrect. Maltose is derived from barley malt, but is eliminated when yeast converts it to alcohol and carbonation.

        From UC Davis:

        "In his research review, Bamforth notes that Arthur Agatson, who developed the South Beach Diet, originally labeled beer as "the most fattening of all alcoholic beverages" due to its use of the sugar maltose. Agatson later retracted that claim and lifted his ban on beer when it was brought to his attention that maltose is removed by the fermentation process."

        Still, given your friends health concers, socks might be in order. I am in no way implying that he should drink beer freely, rather that the "most fattening" claim was hyperbole at best.

        1. re: peetoteeto

          Thanks for the update on maltose....I guess my SBD book (which I picked up off the sidewalk by the way) was the old edition. I still personally believe that good quality malty and yeasty beer in moderation is quite wholesome and healthy, in addition to making you happy.

          1. re: Psychobabble

            And that's no psychobabble! I agree!!!

      2. There's an entire style of beer in Germany that fits that description-
        -unfortunately, as noted, they don't make it to the US. A few German non-alcoholic beers do get here, however-
        The Beck's is supposedly the best of the common ones. (I'd like to try the Jever someday).

        6 Replies
        1. re: JessKidden

          DAB used to send a low-carb beer to the US, which I assume is similar to a diat pils. If I recall, this beer is a bit lower in alcohol, more along the lines of a light beer.

          Years ago I used to see low-alcohol German weissbiers in the US, but haven't seen such a thing in a long time. And I've also seen Mahr's LA.

          1. re: Jim Dorsch

            DAB does send a low-carb beer and it's fantastic (as far as low-carb beers go)! Highly recommended.

            Guinness being low carb is a myth. That was said to me when I started low-carbing and I looked into it and found that Guinness is insanely carb-loaded. You might as well eat sugar cubes. I was once a Belgian ale drinker, but whenI switched to a low carb diet, I had to try and substitute light beers for my Corsendonk. Needless to say I was disappointed but certain beers are at least decent: Labatt's light (Blue, I believe it's called) as well as Molson light. Yuengling light isn't bad, but it's not very low in carbs.

            It might be time to try thinking of other gift ideas if you can't find the DAB.

                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  I think now you know why we just say "Dab."

                2. re: JungMann

                  Guinness is brewed in fifty-one countries and the carbohydrate count for this product varies from an anecdotal 5.20 grams of carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving (from Stout by Michael J. Lewis; Brewers Publications, 1995), up to a documented 17 grams or so, depending on where it’s brewed.

                  The home office for Guinness (Diageo) says a 12-ounce serving comes in at 10 carbs and 125 calories. The Guinness in Australia, however, hits the high end, though with no understanding as to why. A recent check was just done with the Lion-Nathan Brewery for their version of Guinness Draught for New Zealand—5.50 carbs in a 12-ounce serving. In Nigeria, Africa, where three Guinness breweries are located, local grains such as maize and sorghum are used in the dark brew. Analyses of Guinness Stout done in 1995 and 1998 at the lab services division of the Siebel Institute of Technology, puts the carb count for a 12-ounce serving at 13.79 and 09.98 respectively.

            1. Guiness. Seriously. it has probaby the fewest carbs around.

              A lot of Stouts are that way.

              HE might want to try Anchor Small Beer if he can find it.

              Psychobabble is right, though. Your friend should probably avoid beer all together, especially if his health is in question.

              By the way..diest don't work...really. once you "finish" the diet, you gain it back and more. he's better off going to weight watchers and learning to eat healthily.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Diana

                Everyone should want to try Anchor Small Beer if they can find it. That stuff is just flat out excellent.

                1. re: ccbweb

                  I agree whole heartedly...I found Anchor Small Beer Saturday and tried it Sunday. I am going back today to buy every bottle of it they have.

              2. Ask him what his doctor has told him. I assume he's under a doc's supervision.

                1. Thanks for the advice and information! My friend told me that beer was essentially verboten, so I got him some good coffee beans instead.

                  If I ever go to Germany, I'll bring him back some diat bier. His eyes lit up when I mentioned it.


                  1 Reply