The path from beer belly to six pack abs just got a whole lot more appealing. According to a new study out of Spain, drinking beer can be good for the waistline. Go ahead, pop open a cold one; we'll wait.

The Daily Mail reports that Spanish researchers studied 1,249 men and women over 57 years old and found that those who combined a Mediterranean diet (think fish, olive oil, and fruits and veggies) with exercise and up to a pint of beer a day “not only did not put on weight, but in some cases even lost weight.” Beer drinkers also had a lower risk for diabetes and high blood pressure.

The study, entitled “Beer, Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease,” concluded that beer, which contains folic acid, vitamins, iron, and calcium, can have similar heart healthy benefits previously linked to drinking wine.

'In this study we banish myths. We know that beer is not to blame for obesity,” Dr. Rosa Lamuela, one of the researchers, told the Mail.

However, Dr. Ramon Estruch, the study's lead researcher stressed that to reap the cardiovascular benefits of the beer diet, one needs to drink sensibly like the Spanish, not pound it back like the Brits, who he said, “drink large quantities, almost without moving from one spot, while eating fried chips and sausages.”

So what's the prescription for the optimum beer diet? The researchers recommend that women knock back two small glasses of suds a day while men go in for a third. And of course, as with any diet, the doctors suggest combining all that beer with a healthy diet and exercise.  

Yeah, we thought it sounded to good to be true too.

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