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Dark beers, including stout, come with fuller flavours and healthy side effects. Time to enjoy the darkness.
It has less calories than light beer
Thick and frothy, and with an alcohol content of up to 8 per cent, it’s understandable why dark beers, including stout, are often misunderstood as packing more calories than other types of beer. The truth is, it’s actually lighter on your waistline. In fact, a mug of stout can have up to 50 fewer calories than other brews. And if you substitute a six-pack of beer for stout for one week, you’ll put on less weight – nearly 2kg – in the span of a year! How’s that for an excuse to clank mugs?
It contains antioxidants
Yes, stout really is healthier. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin in the US found that stout possesses antioxidants not found in other lagers. What’s more, it also contains traces of iron, says Sheeba Majmudar, nutritionist and founder of the Herbal Health Clinic. It turns out the high-temperature roasting process that’s required to develop the smooth finish of dark malts also fuels the formation of antioxidants.
“Dark beers are loaded with them and, on average, contain nearly twice the amount of antioxidants found in light-coloured lagers,” says Joe Vinson, PhD, a researcher at the University of Scranton in the US. “The antioxidants in beer are better at reacting with toxic-free radicals than the ones in antioxidant vitamin pills.”
It can help reduce blood clotting
Food doesn’t need to be paired only with wine. Dark beers are perfect with full-bodied foods like steak because they have caramelised and roasted flavours that match perfectly with the char on the meat, says Garrett Oliver, author of The Brewmaster’s Table.
Another good reason to chug stout with food is that the flavinoids in dark beer can reduce the risk of blood clotting, says John D. Folts, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Coronary Thrombosis Research Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin in the US. Drinking stout with meals can help fight the free radicals that are triggered when the body begins metabolising food.