beer

  1. Ingredients in beer are loaded with chemicals

    What's really in your beer

    It's an autumn tradition across the country: Turn on the football game, and crack open an ice, cold beer.

    Now, as much as I believe any alcohol habit has the potential to be an unhealthy one, I'm not going to stand between anyone and an occasional drink, especially when the game's on.

    But before you take a sip of that beer, I'd like you to take a moment to think about the ingredients in beer and what's actually in your brew.

    In fact, I'd like you to take a look at the ingredients label.

    Don't see it? That's because most beers don't have one -- and when they do, it's woefully incomplete. Confusing and conflicting sets of regulations have made it so that beer makers can do what soda makers can't and skip the ingredients listing entirely, or list only what they want you to see.

    So today, let's take a look at what they definitely don't want you to see -- because each bottle of beer doesn't just contain barley, hops and "pure Rocky Mountain spring water."

    No, it's more like the Big Rock Candy Mountain -- because according to the Alliance for Natural Health, the ingredients in beer can contain sweeteners such as high-fructose corn syrup as well as artificial dyes and even the caramel coloring agent that's been linked to cancer.

    (For more on the link between caramel coloring and cancer click here.)

    The rest of the unlisted ingredients in beer make it seem as if the brewmaster might be doing double-duty as a mad scientist: propylene glycol, MSG, calcium disodium EDTA, glyceryl monostearate and isinglass.

    That last one is used as a clarifying agent... and it's made from fish bladders.

    Yikes!

    I won't say you should never drink or even that you should never drink beer. But if you do, choose organic beers or brews from manufacturers that aren't afraid to tell you what's inside their bottles.

    But given the very real health risks associated with even moderate drinking, I've got a better idea: give it up completely, or limit yourself to just a drink or two a couple of times a year at special events or celebrations.

  2. Small dietary changes can help keep gout away

    Little adjustments can make a big difference for gout

    There's good news and bad news for gout sufferers. Here's the bad news first: A new study confirms that some of your favorite foods -- including beef and fish -- can bring on the pain.

    Now the good news: You don't have to give those foods up.

    The new study offers one of the most detailed looks yet at how gout attacks begin in people prone to the disease -- and of course, it starts with eating too many foods rich in purines.

    But we already knew that.

    Where this new study differs is in the numbers -- because for the first time, we can see the actual tipping point, and it's 0.07 ounces of purines over two days.

    When the 633 men in the study had a gout attack, it was almost always after passing that level. And in random two-day periods that didn't precede an attack, they averaged 0.06 ounces or less.

    Those numbers might sound incredibly small, and they are since even purine-rich foods contain very low levels of the stuff.

    The 0.07 ounces responsible for gout attacks equal what you'll find in 3.8 pounds of beef or 7.9 pounds of spinach, while 0.06 ounces of purines are what you'll get from 3.1 pounds of beef or 6.4 pounds of spinach.

    Obviously, you're not going to be eating just beef and spinach (not to mention you shouldn't be eating close to 2 pounds of beef a day even if you're not prone to gout). And of course, these are averages, so your own tipping point might be a little higher or lower.

    But the new study offers an excellent starting point for working on your own purine-restricted diet -- and you can start by getting to know not only which foods contain purines, but how much you'll find in each serving.

    In general, the foods with the highest levels include organ meats such as liver as well as seafood such as sardines, mussels, anchovies, and herring. Chicken has some as well, but not quite as much.

    Vegetables have much lower levels, but the ones with the most include spinach, mushrooms, lentils, asparagus, and cauliflower.

    You'll also find it in pasta and yeast. And, sorry beer lovers, but your favorite suds are bubbling over with purines.

    If despite your best efforts you cross your own gout tipping point, there are natural ways to beat the pain -- including cherry, especially sour cherry, and celery seed extract.

    And as I have written before, people with high blood sugar levels are more prone to gout, so get those under control as well.

    For more on keeping gout at bay, read my free report "The right way to beat gout."

  3. One more reason to drink beer

    In fact, you can get just about all the benefits of wine and then some from plain old beer -- and the latest research confirms that a cold brew is every bit as good for your heart as a glass of red.
  4. Shrinks want seniors to stop drinking

    If you're a senior and you had a drink or two last night, you had way too much. That's ridiculous, of course -- but that's the warning from a group of buzz-killing British shrinks, who claim that booze intake should be limited to just 1.5 units of alcohol a day for seniors.
  5. Drink beer to lose weight

    Spanish researchers examined 1,249 men and women over the age of 57, and found that regular beer drinkers had less body fat, were less likely to be obese and were less likely to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure.

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