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Beer Carbohydrates - Anheuser-Busch Sets the Record Straight; Many Popular Carb Diet Books Provide Incorrect Information About Beer.

The popularity of recent carbohydrate diet books has focused Americans' attention on carbohydrates in their food as never before. Even those who are not on strict low-carb diets consider some carbs "good" or "bad" based on this advice and make their food choices accordingly.

The fact is dieters don't have to choose between their low-carb lifestyle and their favorite light beer. Many of these books contain errors about beer.

"Beer, and especially light beer, is enjoyed responsibly by many adults who also happen to be on weight-loss diets of all kinds," said Douglas Muhleman, Anheuser-Busch vice president brewing operations and technology. "Beer has zero fat. Light beer is also low in carbs and low in calories."

One of the common errors repeated in many books has to do with maltose in beer.* Most beers contain little or no maltose. When barley malt is first cooked in the brewing process, the resulting liquid contains maltose, which is a sugar. During fermentation yeast consumes the maltose, converting it to alcohol and natural carbonation.

Many popular carbohydrate diet books attempt to assign "good" or "bad" ratings on food based on its glycemic index alone.* The glycemic index is a way of measuring how fast and high a specific food increases blood sugar. When it comes to beer, many diet book authors say beer's glycemic index is high.* But this is based on the mistaken belief that beer contains high levels of sugar or maltose. There is no published glycemic index for beer.

Beer is so low in carbs that the glycemic index cannot be practically measured, according to the University of Sydney researchers.*

There have been humorous references to "beer bellies" in some of the popular carbohydrate diet books.* The truth is, there is no such thing as a "beer" belly. Excess fat in any part of the body is caused by too many calories from any source and not enough exercise, according to published academic sources. Where fat is deposited on the body is mainly determined by gender and genetics.*

No matter what kind of diet -- low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie -- is chosen, most doctors agree that the keys to weight loss are moderate food and beverage intake and regular exercise. Beer can be part of that kind of healthy lifestyle for adults.*

"We are not endorsing any particular diet or diet book, and we are certainly not saying that drinking beer will cause you to lose weight," said Muhleman. "Rather, we are providing accurate information for adults to determine what products can fit within their food and beverage choices. We want any consumption of our beers to be by adults and to be responsible."

Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. is the leading U.S. brewer and holds a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer. In a survey of 10,000 business leaders and securities analysts, Anheuser-Busch ranked first overall in quality of products and services among nearly 600 companies researched in FORTUNE magazine's 2004 "America's Most Admired Companies" listing. The company also is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and is the world's largest recycler of aluminum beverage containers. For more information, visit .

*Please see footnoted references on brochure, "Beer Carbohydrates - The Real Story" available online at .

CONTACT: David White, +1-336-774-9220, , or Holly Watson, +1-314-577-7197, , both of Anheuser-Busch, Inc.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 19, 2004
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