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Most of the time we are very concerned about the food we eat as those with diabetes. But how often do we really think about what we drink? Many times a well planned meal can be ruined by the wrong choice of drink. So today I want to give you some tips on what is best for you to drink as a person with diabetes.
Many drinks contain lots of sugars and carbohydrates. Paying attention to food labels and nutritional facts can provide important information. Labels should state the serving size and carbohydrate content of any drink.
People with diabetes have different bodily needs, so there are no exact dietary rules. However, some tips can help.
Milk tends to be a good source of energy and people that wish to watch their weight will need to take into account the calorie content of milk. Skimmed tends to have around half the calories of whole milk.
Fruit juice is usually regarded as a healthy option but it should be noted that fruit juices have a relatively high carbohydrate content. The calorie content of fruit juice is similar to that of skimmed milk.
Despite being quite high in carbohydrate content, fruit juice needn’t be totally avoided and can be a good option before taking a sustained period of exercise as the activity may help to balance out the rise in blood sugar levels from the juice.
To ensure you get good nutritional value from fruit juice, ensure you have real, unsweetened fruit juice.
These “make it yourself” drinks are fantastic! If you have watched many of my videos, you know I love to keep fresh and frozen fruit year round. A fruit smoothie is an amazing thirst quencher and is rather nutritious. You can find plenty of recipes on the internet for good quality smoothies.
Diet soft drinks
Diet soft drinks tend to be popular with people with diabetes as they are low in carbohydrate and low in calories.
Diet soft drinks tend to use artificial sweeteners and other artificial agents to provide sweetness, flavor and color. Whilst soft drinks are recognized as safe for consumption, research has raised some questions over potential health issues and some people may prefer to limit or avoid their exposure to soft drinks as a precaution. You can check out my video on Soft drinks and diabetes. I personally feel they are fine to drink but in that video give you some research to make your own choice.
Research into the effects of non-milky tea has identified a range of health benefits, including improving insulin sensitivity and helping maintain healthy blood pressure. Lovers of milk in tea will be disappointed to know that the health benefits generally aren’t realized when milk is added to tea. Iced tea is an amazing thirst quencher and adding some sucralose and fruit makes it even better. Try putting the juice of a peach in an ice cold glass of tea. You can thank me later.
There are probably few foods or drinks that get such a mixture of good and bad headlines as coffee. Confusingly, coffee has been linked with both increased and decreased risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Studies looking into moderate coffee consumption (2-3 cups a day) have shown some health benefits, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, whilst high coffee consumption (5 or more cups a day) has been linked with a higher risk.
Note that milky coffees such as lattes can be high in calories, with larger lattes sometimes varying between 100 and 300 calories.
When having alcohol, there are a few things to consider:
How the drink will affect blood sugar levels
The calorie content of the drink
Whether alcohol will interact with any medication you take
Alcoholic drinks can be responsible for raising and lowering blood glucose levels so it’s useful to understand how different alcoholic drinks can affect your sugar levels.
For those keeping an eye on their weight, it’s important to note that alcohol is significant source of calories. For example, a single pint of regular beer has 200 calories, which is as many calories as a large slice of pizza.
Some medications interact with alcohol. It is advisable to check the patient information leaflet enclosed with your medication and consult your doctor if you have further questions.
The ADA recommends no more than 1 drink per day for women and no more than 2 drinks per day for men. One must also be advised that alcohol can drop blood sugar quickly! So be sure to eat when drinking.
Yes, there are other drinks, but this covers the many of the drinks we come across. I do not recommend energy drinks or many “home remedies” like drinking vinegar or stump water. Keep to the main sources of hydration.