Q: "I’m considering making the switch to low-carb beer – do you think it’s a healthier option?"
Michael McMurtry, via email
A: Low-carb beer has the same alcohol content as full-strength regular beer but only around one-third the carbohydrate content. This means you drink less carbohydrates and less kilojoules, which is a help if you’re trying to keep your weight down.
And if keeping the kilojoules down is your health goal, you could also switch to light (lower-alcohol) beer. Light beer has half the alcohol content of regular beer (but similar carbohydrate content), which also results in a drop in kilojoules.
Carbohydrates (g per 100ml)
kJ (per 100ml)
Regular “heavy” beer
From this table, you can see that light beer and low-carb beer are similar in kilojoule count. Both have 20-33 per cent fewer kilojoules than regular “heavy” beer. From a health viewpoint, it’s better to drink less alcohol, so my choice would be a light beer – you cut back on alcohol and save on kilojoules. In any case, beer is not very high in carbohydrates – a 300ml middy/pot contains about 10g of carbs compared with 36g for the same amount of soft drink.