(NaturalNews) Summertime breeds it; so, too, does NFL Sunday. In fact, to scores of Americans, there just isn't a bad time to have a nice, cold beer.
You've seen the commercials. You've heard how each beer company touts its "fresh" ingredients, "only the best barley and hops," "crisp spring water," etc. But if beer companies were required to list every ingredient many of them include in their brews, chances are that sales would be far less than what they currently are.
All of this - gunk - is in my beer?
According to the Alliance for Natural Health:
If you like to kick back now and then with a cold one, you may not have given much thought to what's in the bottle or can. Perhaps you were reassured by ads with wholesome images of sparkling mountain streams and barley rippling in the breeze, or by slogans like "Budweiser: The Genuine Article."
Whatever. Here's a partial list of the legal ingredients included in many of today's mainstream beers:
-- Propylene glycol, which is used to stabilize a beer's head of foam; in high quantities, it is a compound which can cause serious health problems;
-- High-fructose corn syrup;
-- Calcium disodium EDTA;
-- FD&C blue 1, red 40, and yellow 5;
-- Insect-based dyes;
-- Glyceryl monostearate.
As you might have guessed, beer labeling requirements and rules are confusing. Though food is regulated by the FDA, and as such requires foods to be manufactured with a Nutrition Facts panel, alcohol, by comparison, is regulated by the U.S. Treasury Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (as well as the Justice Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which only deals in violations of the law regarding alcohol sales, shipment, etc.).
"Unless it's beer made with something other than malted barley, and then it's regulated by the FDA and must carry a Nutrition Facts panel. States also have their own regulations, which can supersede those of TTB, but not of the FDA," the ANH says.
On her blog, nutrition professor Marion Nestle of New York University explained that the public still does not know all of the ingredients in alcoholic beverages, because, quite simply, the TTB has been dragging its feet since 2007 to complete alcoholic beverage labeling rules.
People with allergies to genetically modified corn are taking a chance when drinking beer, as there is no requirement that GMO ingredients be identified on the label. We told you early this year about the dangers of GMOs, and in 2011 about the dangers of sugar, especially fructose. So genetically modified fructose carries a one-two punch, and may be one of the more toxic foods that can be hiding in your food or drink - with nothing about it on the label.
Not everything about alcohol is bad, according to the latest research, as pointed out by the ANH. Studies galore have suggested that folks who imbibe just a bit tend to live longer, healthier lives. Alcohol, however - even without all of the unsavory additives - still has more downside than up.
There's something much healthier than beer
When introduced into your body, it is treated as an invader - a poison of sorts, if you will. It stresses the entire gastrointestinal system, from your mouth, to your throat, to your colon, and could even aid in the development of some cancers, especially cancer of the esophagus. And, of course, alcohol is believed to increase risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and liver problems.
There are some healthier choices, though.
"An obvious choice is certified organic beer, which cannot include GMOs and other harmful additives by law. And then there are the microbreweries," says ANH. "Many craft beer companies will give you a complete list of ingredients if you ask. Be warned, however: large beer companies are buying up microbreweries one by one, as Molson-Coors did with Blue Moon and Anheuser-Busch did with Goose Island Brewery."
The site goes on to note that the healthiest of all alcoholic beverages is actually red wine, because it contains "resveratrol, which appears to have anti-aging, cancer-preventing, cardio-protective, neuro-protective, and anti-diabetic effects. It's also an anti-inflammatory and an antiviral to boot. As we noted in a recent article, red wine can also help clear bad bugs from your stomach." Sources: