Deep inside, admit it: you always felt this was true. Beer, according to a magical new study, is actually good for you. That's right, Will Ferrell's beer-swilling character in the classic comedy Old School, "Frank the Tank," is a role model for good health.
Pennsylvania State University studied 80,000 beer drinkers and made a notable discovery: there was a distinct drop in cholesterol among women and men who consumed in moderation. When we say moderation, we mean it—a mere single beer a day for women, two for guys.
They didn't just look at beer, either:
The researchers also analyzed whether the benefits of alcohol consumption depended on the type alcohol consumed. They found levels of HDL also decreased more slowly with self-reported moderate beer consumption. Among hard liquor drinkers, only self-reported light (men drinking less than 1 serving a day; women drinking zero to .4 servings daily) to moderate drinking resulted in slower rates of HDL decline.
As for wine, there simply weren't enough regular consumers of the vine in the study to test and see if they had similarly positive results.
This is in keeping with other studies focused on certain kinds of beer. Of course, the key word "moderation" shows up in all of them, so that's worth having in mind the next time you drink—regular binges on entire 6 packs may erase the good done by the odd growler with dinner.
Of course, on weekends when watching the game or tailgating, all bets are off. Get as "healthy" as you want then.