a healthy alternative?


  • According to Health Insurance, alcohol abuse is the second cause of preventable death in France after tobacco.
  • 39% of the 41,080 deaths attributable to alcohol in 2015 in France were due to cancer.

Maximum two glasses a day, a day… These are the recommendations of Public Health France on the reasonable consumption of alcohol for health. But with summer, vacations, meetings with friends or family, it is not always easy to respect them. Thus, some decide to replace the alcoholic aperitif with non-alcoholic beers. A way to toast with almost the same flavor, without the harmful effects… In theory.

“The main question comes from sugar”

It is better to drink a non-alcoholic beer than a regular beerexplain Mathilde Touvier, director of the nutritional epidemiology research team at the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm), in Huffington Post. The main question comes from sugar. (who) favors the appearance of cavities, NASH or “fatty liver disease”, increases cardiovascular mortality and the risk of diabetes”.

In fact, some non-alcoholic beers contain a lot of sugar. “If we look at a classic non-alcoholic beer, we see that sugar is the second ingredient, only behind water. Therefore, we have a nutriscore Dsays Mathilde Touvier. Some non-alcoholic beers have a nutriscore of C because they have no or less added sugar. To be sure, you should look at the ingredient list or check the Open Food Facts site.”.

Even non-alcoholic organic beers can be classified as D

Open food data is a database on food products. Above, Internet users have access to various information on the quality and composition of food and beverages, in particular via the nutrition score. It provides information on the nutritional value of a product, ranging from A (best) to E (worst). Important indicators to watch are sugar, but also carbohydrates and calorie intake. Beware, too, of “false friends”: some non-alcoholic beers are certified organic, which does not prevent them from obtaining a nutriscore D…

Sweeteners are not healthier

When we look at some references in Open Food Facts, it seems that non-alcoholic beers tend to be less sweet than soft drinks, for example.”emphasizes Mathilde Touvier, who is quick to calm down: “Beverages with sweeteners should not be recommended.”. To replace sugar, some manufacturers opt for sweeteners that simulate a sweet taste. Thus, non-alcoholic beer may be lower in calories but not healthier. Indeed, according to a study published last March in the journal PLOS MEDICINEthere would be a link between aspartame (a sweetener) and certain types of cancer.

Even so, in summer, what quenches thirst the most is water… So without moderation, it is advisable to drink at least two liters of water in times of high heat. Choice of still or sparkling!

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