When it comes to weight loss, energy balance is an important part of the equation. That is ensuring that you are consuming less energy (calories) than you are expending. It’s not all that matters, but it is definitely important.
Both carbohydrates and alcohol contribute to your energy intake for the day. There are 4 calories per gram of carbohydrate, compared with 7 calories in each gram of alcohol. (So you could say that alcohol is marginally more energy dense than carbohydrates.)
As you can see, both light beer and low carb beer provide less energy (calories) than regular full strength beer. So, from a weight management perspective, if you are aiming to lose weight, drinking either light beer or a low carb beer will reduce your energy (calorie) intake. You will be taking in less energy (calories) from either alcohol or carbohydrates.
However, if you’re concerned with health in general, limiting the amount of alcohol you consume should be your priority. Both low carb beer and regular full strength beer contain the same percentage of alcohol (4.6%) and each stubbie provides 1.2-1.4 standard drinks, compared with only 1 standard drink in each stubbie of light beer.
Australian national alcohol guidelines recommend no more than 2 standard drinks on any given day for healthy adult men and women (Australian Government Department of Health 2013).
Opting for a light beer over regular full strength or low carb beer is therefore a great way to control alcohol intake whilst still enjoying a drink in moderation.
Australian Government Department of Health (2013), Reduce your risk: new national guidelines for alcohol consumption, available from: http://www.alcohol.gov.au/internet/alcohol/publishing.nsf/Content/guide-adult