Wearing Green…..

… Beer Goggles

St Patrick's Day shenanigans

St Patrick’s Day shenanigans

Celebrating St Patrick’s Day on 17 March always includes wearing green and drinking (green) beer. The celebration is synonymous with shamrocks, leprechauns and Guinness beer from the emerald island of Ireland. The oldest distillery of whiskey, Bushmills, was founded in 1608 in County Antrim, Northern Ireland and Guinness Stout Beer in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland.

Nutrition facts for Guinness Beer. Courtesy: http://www.guinness.com/en-us/thebeer-process-ingredients.html

Nutrition facts for Guinness Beer. Courtesy: http://www.guinness.com/en-us/thebeer-process-ingredients.html

Drinking beer dates back to the 5th millennium BC. Today, the 2014 forecast for beer revenue according to Beer: Global Industry Guide is over $496, 614 million from 160,319.8 million liters sold worldwide.

The multi-million dollar beer sales show it may even have an impact on human health. Though wine has always been thought of to be a more healthy conscious choice, beer has some nutritional advantages. Beer contains more proteins and B vitamins than wine. The antioxidant content of beer is equivalent to that of wine, but the specific antioxidants are different because the barley and hops used in the production of beer contain flavonoids different from those in the grapes used in the production of wine. There is no evidence to support one type of alcoholic beverage over another for health benefits. (1,2)

Studies evaluating the benefits of wine, beer or spirits suggest that moderate* consumption of any alcoholic beverage is associated with lower incidence of cardiovascular disease, hypertension, some cancer and diabetes.

Standard drink chart. Courtesy of http://www.completefitness.com.au

Standard drink chart. Courtesy of http://www.completefitness.com.au

Since the main ingredients for alcoholic beverages are plant derived such as grapes for wine and barley and hops for beer, phytochemicals have been discovered beneficial to human health such as quercetin, catechin or resveratrol in red wine or flavonoids** in beer that possess anti-oxidant properties. The barley and hops used in the beer fermentation process provides beta-glucans, or bran fiber and minerals such as phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and vitamin B12. These are the main active compounds in current studies’ research objective that show to have a positive effect against chronic diseases in human health.

Anti-oxidant **Flavonoids-

  • Quercetin (a flavonol in vegetables, fruit skins, onions)
  • Xanthohumol (a prenylated chalcone in hops and beer)
  • Isoxanthohumol (a prenylated chalcone in hops and beer)

To read more about how beer can help your health.


**Moderate drinking (1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men)


References:

1. Denke M., Nutritional and health benefits of beer. Am J Med Sci. (2000) Nov;320(5):320-6.

2. Arranz, Sara et al. “Wine, Beer, Alcohol and Polyphenols on Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer.” Nutrients 4.7 (2012): 759–781.

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Sometimes you feel like a nut…

…. SOMETIMES YOU DON’T.

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Peanut Butter Lover’s Day (01 March)

The humble peanut and its products, peanut butter or peanut oil, has grown in popularity since George Washington Carver pioneered its utility. Now, billion dollar industry ranging from its raw form of a nut to more delicious concoctions of peanut butter ice cream and cakes or peanut soup – a staple in Ghana.

Peanuts are a great alternative source for animal-based protein like beef or chicken for those who try to limit their saturated fat intake or may not have access to a fresh market. The macronutrients content of peanuts are similar when compared to beef if your focus is (only) protein. Compare cholesterol of the beef steak to peanuts, 92 g and 0 g respectively. For people who are concerned with a high cholesterol diet and/or on medication to reduce cholesterol, this is a major factor to consider. Fat is always a concern for those who want to limit intake. To clarify the amount of fat found in 100 g peanuts v sirloin steak is 50 g and 14 g, respectively. At first glance, peanuts have 2.5x the amount, BUT think about the type of fat. The amount of saturated v unsaturated or even the mono-, poly- unsaturated types of fats because each type of fat (Think butter v olive oil or avocado) is processed in the body differently. The breakdown of types of fat in peanut is mostly mono-unsaturated fatty acids similarly found in olive oil. Whereas, the majority of fat in a steak is…. saturated from the animal fat aka: tallow. Don’t forget about dietary fiber… we all need it! [Men >35 g ; Women >25 g / day]

Macronutrient

 

*Peanut- roasted, unsalted *Beef- sirloin steak Hamburger- McDonald’s (1 sandwich)
Energy (kCal) 587 283 251
Protein (g) 24 27 12
Carbohydrate (g) 21 0 29
Fat (g) 50 14 10
Cholesterol (mg) 0 92 26
Niacin (mg) 14 7 4
Dietary Fiber (g) 8 0 1

*per 100g (1)

With the rise in uses and popularity, there is also a rise in allergic reaction to peanuts (2). Though, good news from a recent comprehensive study led by Lack and colleagues (3) indicates that by introducing a small amount of peanut product to infants, under the supervision of a medical doctor, may lower the risk of a peanut allergen. This is counter to the medical profession’s recommendation of strict avoidance of peanuts to lactating mothers and feeding toddlers up to two years old.

References:

1. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/

2. Sicherer SH, Munoz-Furlong A, Godbold JH, Sampson HA. US prevalence of self-reported peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy: 11-year follow-up. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2010;125:1322-1326

3. Du Toit et. al. Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption in Infants at Risk for Peanut Allergy. N Engl J Med. 2015 Feb 23