is whiskey good for diabetes
Nutrition

Whiskey - Good or Bad For Diabetes

Is whiskey good for diabetes or not is something subjective. People with diabetes have to exercise caution and restriction on their diet and drinks. Anything they eat or drink could affect their blood sugar levels which may lead to unnecessary highs and lows. This also includes alcohol. When people get diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes later in age, or when a person with T1D grows up, it gets tough to manage the blood sugars even more, especially with the plethora of food and drink options available to choose from. When it comes to alcohol, as people grow up, the use of alcohol begins. People drink at parties or occasions and have a good time. The frequency of drinking, the preference for the type of alcohol, mixers, etc. depends on each person. People have different tastes – some like beers, some prefer to slowly drink wines, some like to do shots, some like cocktails, and the many more alcoholic beverage options that are available in today’s day and age are chosen by billions of people all over the world. 

Whiskey is one of the most prominent drinks in the country and many people, old and young, have a taste for this beverage. There are different types of whiskey and ways of drinking it. Normally, people do not think much before indulging in a couple of drinks, once or twice a week. However, people with comorbidities need to be super cautious before they consume alcohol. Can people with diabetes drink whiskey? How does it affect the sugars in the body? These are questions that need to be addressed before making whiskey the staple drink.

Does Alcohol Cause Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic endocrine disorder that is caused due to various reasons. While consuming alcohol doesn’t exactly cause diabetes, it can expedite other diabetes causing tendencies. Alcohol may make regulating your blood sugar more challenging if you have diabetes in a variety of ways. People with diabetes who consume alcohol and are otherwise well-fed, for example, might acquire dangerously high blood sugar levels. People with diabetes who consume alcohol and are malnourished, on the other hand, might have dangerously low blood sugar levels. Chronic excessive drinking may interfere with several metabolic processes (including those involved in blood glucose homeostasis) and may be a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Drinking may also raise the risk of a variety of other diabetes-related health problems, including major cardiovascular and neurological problems.

Does Whiskey Have Sugar?

Often on a night out with friends or family we end up having a drink or two with dinner. But have you ever wondered what the nutritional composition of these drinks are? For people with diabetes, consuming alcohol is strictly prohibited but if at all one has to drink, drinking whiskey, gin or vodka are much safer options as they have a low sugar content. So can diabetics drink whiskey? Let’s find out. 

Whiskey is a sort of distilled alcoholic beverage that is manufactured from fermented grain mash. Barley, maize, rye, and wheat are among the grains that are used in the production of various types of whiskeys. Barrels composed of charred white oak are commonly used for the aging process of whisky, which takes place in wooden casks. So does whiskey have sugar? If so, how much? Whiskey, like all other types of distilled spirits, includes very little sugar (approximately 0.044 grams per 1.5 ounces) or none at all. Consequently, it does not raise blood sugar levels in the body. However, this might alter depending on how much whiskey you drink, how frequently you drink it and whether or not you mix it with soda or another mixer.

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Can Diabetics Drink Whiskey?

It all depends on the number of drinks consumed per day or per week for it to be deemed good or bad, healthy or unhealthy. One thing that is for sure is that these drinks need to be consumed in moderation and very judiciously keeping all the parameters in check. If at all you are a diabetic and you step into a bar with your friends, you need to be careful of what you are drinking and how much along with the food content. 

Whiskey, overall, might not be as harmful, however, one needs to be careful when whiskey is taken with a mixed drink like Coke or a juice. These mixers have a significant amount of sugar in them which might cause the blood sugar levels to fluctuate. So, to ensure that the low calories of whiskey good for diabetes remain good, keep the mixers limited to the diet version. Use diet ginger ale, diet Coke, no-sugar drinks, etc. in case you do not want to have your whiskey neat. 

30ml of whiskey provides the following:

  • Calories – 123
  • Proteins – 0 grams
  • Fat – 0 grams
  • Carbs – 0 grams
  • Fiber – 0 grams
  • Sugar – 0 grams

It is also high in phosphorus, Vitamin B1, Zinc, Iron, and Vitamin B3. 

To understand if scotch whiskey is good for people with diabetes, let’s take a look at the nutritional profile.  A shot or 42g of scotch whiskey would provide the following:

  • Calories – 97
  • Proteins – 0 grams
  • Fat – 0 grams
  • Carbs – 0 grams
  • Fiber – 0 grams
  • Sugar – 0 grams
  • Sodium – 0.42mg

Because of the 0 carbs, the glycemic index of scotch whiskey is also said to be 0. Being careful while engaging in a night of drinks is the most important aspect for any person with diabetes. It is best to keep a regular check on the blood sugar levels – before and after drinking. If the BG levels are high or low before drinking, it is advised to stay off any alcohol for the night to not endanger the body anymore.

Does Whiskey Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Glycemic index of whisky is 0. It contains simple sugars that are capable of being broken down by the body. The overall composition of whiskey makes it easier for our bodies to get accustomed to being able to regulate the levels of insulin required. Drinking whiskey in moderation, therefore, might be safe for a person with diabetes as it hardly affects the glucose levels in the body. 

Other benefits of whiskey might be:

  • Some whiskey provides protection against cancer and also dementia. The compound – ellagic acid that is present in whiskey helps to remove the useless cells in the body
  • It contributes to weight loss and it has no fats or carbs. It does not add to the body weight, and therefore, can be a good drink for people on a diet.
  • At times, it can be good for reducing stress and calming down anxiety levels. It improves the blood flow in the body. It is, however, important to remember to not rely on whiskey to do so. As it might cause dependency.
  • Lastly, it also reduces the risk of the onset of diabetes by 40%

Best Types Of Alcohol For Diabetes To Drink

Drinking when you have diabetes may be safe if you choose the right drinks and consider how alcohol may impact your blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs in lower-than-normal insulin synthesis or function, which controls your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, depending on the drink and whether or not you have just eaten, excessive alcohol consumption may raise or lower your blood sugar levels. According to research, moderate alcohol use, especially red wine, provides health benefits for people with diabetes. Excessive drinking, on the other hand, may interact with some medicines and increase the risk of diabetic complications as well as directly raising blood sugar levels. 

The best alcohol for diabetics to drink will be those alcoholic drinks with a reduced overall sugar or carbohydrate content. If you avoid sugary juices and syrups, this includes sugar-free beers, red and white wines, whiskeys, and low-carb cocktails so if you’re wondering ‘is whiskey good for diabetes?’ The answer is yes. 

The sugar content of traditional cocktails, dessert wines, and cream liqueurs tends to be greater, which might result in a rise in blood sugar levels. Regardless of the kind of alcoholic beverage you choose to drink, keep in mind that blood sugar regulation is influenced by more than just the sugar in such beverages. The alcohol itself does as well. That’s why you must restrict your alcohol consumption and follow the instructions listed above.

When used with certain diabetic medications, such as sulfonylureas and insulin, which already increase the risk of hypoglycemia, alcohol has a multiplicative impact on the risk of hypoglycemia. If you are taking medication, talk to your doctor about the best method to drink alcohol while doing so and if it is safe to do so.

Bottomline

Whiskey has 0 carbs, fats, or sugars. Even the glycemic index of whisky is almost negligible. Therefore, it can be safe for a person with diabetes to consume whiskey in moderation. For more details, read the article

FAQs

How much Whiskey can people with Diabetes drink?

A person with diabetes can drink whiskey regularly as long as they are careful of the quantity. Higher levels of alcohol might lead to hypoglycemia or problems with the liver. Not more than 1-2 alcoholic beverages in a day should be consumed by people with diabetes.

Which Alcohol is not suited for people with Diabetes?

Anything that would have higher levels of carbs and sugars will not be suited for a person with diabetes. Beer and certain wines can be high in these contents, and therefore, can be avoided. Any alcoholic drinks with sugary or fruity mixers should also be avoided. Know more about which alcohol is good for diabetes here.

Is Whiskey Good For Diabetes?

As a rule of thumb, any kind of alcohol is bad for people with diabetes as it tends to spike blood sugar levels and then dip them extremely low. But relatively speaking, whiskey contains the least amount of carbs and sugars among all alcohol types and can be had by people with diabetes in little quantities. 

Does Whiskey Help to Lower Blood Sugar?

Among all alcohol, whiskey has the least amount of carbs and sugar per ounce and while it is not healthy to drink alcohol, whiskey does not tend to raise blood sugar. However, it should be consumed cautiously and in very little quantities in order for it to not be harmful. Any type of alcohol tends to lower blood sugar levels 12-14 hours after consumption. 

Does Alcohol Affect Blood Sugar The Next Day?

Yes, alcohol affects blood sugar the next day especially among people with type 1 diabetes. Alcohol tends to take blood sugar to dangerously low levels the morning after drinking and can also cause hypoglycemic episodes in people with diabetes. Having a healthy breakfast and hydrating yourself is important after consuming alcohol.

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