Bud Light releases dietary information — here's why nutritionists are happy

Bud Light plans to release a new box with a larger nutrition label. Experts say that’s a good idea. (Photo: Twitter, @BudLight)
Bud Light plans to release a new box with a larger nutrition label. Experts say that’s a good idea. (Photo: Twitter, @BudLight)

You’re used to seeing nutrition labels on cereals, canned goods, and pretty much everything else you buy in a package at the grocery store. Now, there’s one more place you can expect to see the familiar label: On your Bud Light.

Starting next month, you’ll be able to see nutritional labels on case boxes and six packs of Bud Light, brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev NV told Bloomberg on Friday. Beer companies aren’t required to show the same nutritional information on its products as other packaged foods and drinks. However, Bud Light currently shows nutritional information on their bottles and packaging—it’s just small or kind of hidden, and doesn’t include the ingredients.

The new label is big, black and white, and similar to what you’ll find on other packaged goods. It also lists out the beer’s ingredients—water, barley, rice, and hops—before going into the nutritional information. (In case you’re wondering, a 12-ounce serving has 110 calories, 6.6 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.9 grams of protein.)

Nutritionists are applauding the change. “I love when companies want to give the consumer as much information as possible,” Gina Keatley, a certified-dietitian nutritionist practicing in New York City, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “This is a great example of a large company responding to the market.”

Julie Upton, a registered dietitian and cofounder of nutrition website Appetite for Health, agrees. “This is a great idea and long overdue,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “People often forget about liquid calories, especially calories from alcoholic beverages.” And, when it’s right in front of you, that’s hard to ignore, she says.

“The more transparency in food labels the better,” Beth Warren, a registered dietitian and founder of Beth Warren Nutrition and author of Secrets of a Kosher Girl, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.”A consumer has a right to know what they are eating in the clearest way possible.”

In terms of calories, Bud Light is pretty similar to other light beers out there, Upton says. However, beers that call themselves “ultra light” can have as few as 45 calories per 12 ounce serving. “There are other light beers with slightly less carbs, but Bud Light is still low carb in comparison to regular beers,” Warren says. Bud Light also has lower levels of alcohol compared to craft beers. “That helps keep the calories down,” Keatley says.

While calorie counts definitely get a lot of attention, the nutritional labels are “especially important for anyone following a low-carb diet, like keto,” Upton says. “Without the nutrition facts panel, it’s hard for them to know the carbohydrate content of a beer or other alcoholic beverage.”

Overall, Keatley says this still doesn’t qualify Bud Light as a health drink, but it’s definitely a good move. “If you’re going to have a drink or two and want to stay on your diet plan it’s helpful,” she says.

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