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What Can I Drink If I Have Diabetes?

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Recently Sari Harrar did a phenomenal interview with 3 top diabetes educators on this very field of drinks and diabetes. It would be very hard for me to add to her work or find any better research than what she has done. So I want to tell you up front, much of this video is based on her work and research.

That being said, Sari brought together and then asked three top registered dietitians, who are also certified diabetes educators, what they tell their clients about everyday drinks.

We all know that when you have diabetes, picking a drink isn’t always easy, is it? And then add in all those studies that has been done recently on diet soda and weight gain or does coffee help or hurt insulin resistance? There are a lot of questions out there and I am so glad Sari wanted to get to the bottom of the question as badly as I did. So here is “our” work. Like I said, much of it is hers, I just filled in some gaps that I felt needed to be in there.

As far as water goes, all of the researchers agree that we must drink more water. It could even help out with controlling our blood sugar.

A recent study in the journal Diabetes Care found that people who drank 16 ounces or less of water a day (two cups’ worth) were 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drank more than that daily.

We each have a hormone called vasopressin, and it helps the body regulate hydration. Vasopressin levels rise when we are properly hydrated, which prompts the liver to produce more blood sugar.
How much water should those of us with diabetes drink? Experts recommend six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water per day for women and 8-10 for men. You can get water from fruits and vegetables and other liquids you consume, but you won’t get enough. One way to help with your water intake and to help with some of those meal time binges is to drink a glass of water before every meal.

Another great drink you can add to your diet is something we usually think of only for kids. But milk is wonderful for you because it provides the calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin D your body needs for many essential functions.

Did you know recent research shows milk may boost weight loss?

In one study of 322 people trying to slim down (some had type 2 diabetes, some had heart disease), those who drank the most milk—about 12 ounces a day—shed 5 more pounds over the study period than those with the lowest dairy intake, about half a glass daily. Adding milk to a healthy diet can also help lower your blood pressure according to research from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

How much milk is good? Most experts will say two to three daily servings of dairy products, including 2% or skim milk. Drink a glass with breakfast or choose dairy for dessert, like yogurt or sugar-free pudding as ways to get that daily intake. “Drink milk with a meal so your body can handle the natural rise in blood sugar that happens when we eat carbohydrates,” says Baltimore, Maryland–based registered dietitian Angela Ginn a nutrition education coordinator at the University of Maryland’s Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology.

How about tea? Tea contains no calories, brings big flavor, and a boatload of antioxidants. This has made tea trendy for health reasons, especially for those with diabetes. One Chinese study showed that black tea has the highest levels of polysaccharides, which slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

A German study suggests that the risk of getting diabetes can be cut by 16% by sipping 4 cups of tea per day.

You must be careful however because of sweetened, bottled iced teas. These are loaded with sugar and that is what you are trying to avoid. Four to five cups of tea is a good amount if you can tolerate the caffeine.

The next category is drinks that you can have, just be careful.

There are studies that suggest coffee drinkers are at lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes. A compound in coffee called chlorogenic acid seems to slow absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

But there is also research that indicates for people who already have diabetes, coffee may raise blood sugar or make the body work harder to process it. The best answer as far as coffee is concerned is how it affects YOUR blood sugar. Of course don’t add sugar and sugar filled flavorings to your coffee.

When it comes to how much coffee you should drink? Most experts say sipping two to three cups a day is enough, especially if you notice it having an adverse effect on your blood sugar…

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