Recent studies have found that beer is not necessarily the cause of the extra padding you may have around your midsection. In fact, beer has been found to have certain nutritional benefits while enjoyed in moderation.

The Telegraph reports on nutritionist Dr Kathryn O’Sullivan’s scientific review. In ‘Beer & calories; a scientific review,’ which she conducted for the British Beer and Pub Association, Dr. O’Sullivan’s research indicates that beer can provide vitamins, fiber and antioxidants which can be beneficial to your health.

“Beer drinking in Britain has become regarded by many as a vice and not a component of a healthy balanced lifestyle. But this is contrary to the latest scientific evidence,” said Dr. O’Sullivan.

While Dr. O’Sullivan’s data debunks the myth of ‘beer belly,’ she does warn that drinking anything in excess will help pack on the pounds. Like anything, beer is best in moderation.

“Moderate beer consumption does not lead to weight gain or abdominal fatness and the perception that drinking beer results in a beer belly is not supported by the scientific evidence,” Dr. O’Sullivan wrote.

Dr. O’Sullivan discusses the misconceptions about beer, particularly how it is viewed as a very high-calorie beverage.

“Unfortunately beer has this image as a high-calorie, high-fat drink,” Dr O’Sullivan told The Times. “It is very unfair.”

As such, Dr. O’Sullivan believes that swapping two large glasses of wine a day with two bottles of lager could save 58,240 calories a year.

“Enjoyed in moderation, beer, like wine, can provide many essential vitamins and minerals and moderate consumption may also protect against many conditions such as heart disease, osteoporosis and diabetes.”

Danish nutritionist Professor Arne Astrup backed up Dr. O’Sullivan’s latest findings saying that there was no scientific evidence that supports the idea of the “beer belly."

He added: “The risk factors for ‘beer belly’ is male gender, age, smoking, physical inactivity, mental stress, impaired sleep, high intake of trans fat, and the use of certain drugs.”

Watch Dr. O’Sullivan explain the beer belly myth here:

Research finds beer doesn't necessarily cause a beer