Though beer certainly has its benefits, it’s not exactly a superfood. There’s a reason so many people believe the whole “beer belly” myth — beer can be heavy on the carbs and empty in key nutrients. And while drinking beer probably won’t automatically result in weight gain, it can contribute to a poor diet that’s missing the nutrients you need.
Healthy drinking habits depend on more than just the beer you choose. They depend on many things, including the quantity you’re drinking, the frequency of your drinking, your mental health associated with alcohol, and what food you’re eating otherwise. So just because you’re reaching for a light beer doesn’t mean drinking it is a healthier choice than someone else is making in sipping another kind.
Additionally, some beers that are (only slightly) higher in calories are also higher in certain nutrients. Some beers have less sugar than others, as well. Since nutrition isn’t that black and white, it’s hard to compare which beer is actually the best for your body.
That being said, here are the healthiest beers you can find nationally, ranked by their calorie and carb counts. Drink responsibly!
Also called Genny Light, this beer is an American-style light lager brewed to taste similar to Genesee Cream Ale but contain fewer calories. It’s a crisp, light beer that’s meant to be drinkable.
Yuengling is America’s oldest brewery, and this lager is Yuengling’s oldest light beer. It has a caramel malt flavor designed to mimic the taste of the brewery’s flagship beer.
Heineken Light is a light lager with a mild malty aroma and golden color. This Dutch beer was originally brewed in 2005 and designed specifically for the United States market. Each 12-ounce serving has 99 calories and 7 carbs in addition to being low-ABV.
Milwaukee’s Best Light is an American-style light lager owned by MillerCoors and available nationwide. They rolled out the slogan “Men should act like men, and light beer should taste like beer” in 2006.
Miller Lite is a light, golden-colored pilsner that was one of the first popular beers brewed specifically to be low-calorie. It has 96 calories per 12-ounce can or bottle and contains fewer carbs than most other light beers — just 3.2 grams.
Amstel Light is a Dutch beer owned by Heineken that has a low ABV and calorie count. It’s one of the leading imported light beers in the U.S. and has 5 carbs per 12-ounce serving.
Busch Light is an American-style light lager brewed with a blend of American and imported hops. It’s brewed for longer to attain a lower calorie count than standard Busch, which is also said to give this beer a lighter body.
Natural Light, also known as Natty Light, is an American-style light lager. Natural Light recently came out with a light session lager called “Naturdays” that’s a bit more fruity, if you’re looking for more flavor — though those varieties are higher in calories and carbs.
Michelob Ultra is a low-calorie beer that has only 2.6 carbs. Michelob also has an amber ale and a light lager in addition to the classic original lager, and the company recently released a low-calorie lime and prickly pear cactus beer. Its low carb count is appealing to many, and since it’s so well known, this beer isn’t hard to find.
Corona Premier is Corona’s lowest-calorie beer, a crisp and light version of their pilsner. It’s considered the most drinkable type of Corona, and it has 0.7 grams of protein in addition to being low-calorie and low-carb.
This European beer is brewed in Germany and imported to the U.S. It’s a light pilsner known for its low calorie count — just 64 calories per 12-ounce bottle. It’s been described as slightly fruity in flavor, and it also rates slightly higher for taste based on reviews than some other light beers on this list; it also has a very low ABV, so if that’s what you’re looking for, that’s in your favor.
Miller64 is the lightest MillerCoors beer on the market. It’s got 64 calories per can or bottle (as the name implies) and contains only 2.4 carbs. It’s been described as a crisp, light lager, and it has a lower ABV than most beers on this list.
Bud Select 55 was the lowest-calorie beer we could find. It’s a golden lager brewed with caramel malt and a blend of hops. It even has a modest half gram of protein in its 12-ounce serving. The ratings on Beer Advocate aren’t raving over its taste, but come on. This is a crazy low-calorie beer, not one of the best beers in America!
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