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Beer and Hard Liquor Health Facts

Which type of alcohol is better for you, beer or hard liquor? When it comes down to it, alcohol is alcohol but it’s good to know which one offers more health benefits.

Let’s start with beer. Beer is the world’s most popular form of alcohol and comes primarily from brewing starches and grains — mostly corn, barley and rice — which is why beer has the nickname of “liquid bread.” Beer usually contains bitter tasting hops as a preservative. Beer is probably the oldest form of alcohol known to man and comes in a variety of forms such as stout, ale and lager. Each type is also varied by the company that makes it, resulting in endless possibilities.

Beer contains brewer’s yeast, which is an excellent source of magnesium, selenium, potassium, biotin and several B vitamins. Since beer is so rich in carbohydrates and yet very weak in alcohol content, it’s easy to have too much. If you lead an inactive lifestyle, you will most likely gain a “beer belly” no matter how fast your metabolism is if you drink more than one or two beers a day.

Hard liquor is different from beer in many ways. It is distilled instead of brewed and can be made from almost anything. Grains, fruits or vegetables like potatoes are all common bases. Types of hard liquor include brandy, Schnapps, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey and vodka. The advantage of hard liquor is that it contains no carbohydrates or calories and is easily mixable.

No matter which alcohol you choose to drink, both have effects on your body to a varying degree. When you drink only one or two alcoholic drinks, you lower your risk of diabetes, release tension from your muscles, increase your blood flow and bone density. If you have a lot of alcohol daily for long periods, you increase your risk of throat cancer, liver disease, liver scarring, pancreatic swelling, depression, impaired memory, sleep disorders and your risk of type two diabetes.

It isn’t really about the alcohol -– it’s about the amount.

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