Nutrition

Is Wine Good For People With Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

An occasional drink is something many adults indulge in. Whether it is at parties, celebrations, cocktail functions, or just at some dinners when you meet your friends after a long time. People have different preferences when it comes to drinks. Some like the cold beers, some prefer to have rum in the cold weather, some like the sourness of whiskey, some prefer cocktails like mimosas, while others might have wine or simple shots!

People with different medical conditions are advised against regular drinking. This is because drinks can cause several complications to the heart, liver, blood sugars, etc. Different drinks impact the body differently and it is also your level of tolerance towards certain drinks that would affect how you react to them. 

People with diabetes have a lot to worry about. Since diabetes is a condition that creates complications on different organs and body parts like – the heart, liver, kidneys, feet, eyes, nerves, etc, a person with diabetes has to be very careful. Distress and damage to one organ can set off a chain reaction and cause issues with multiple others. This is the reason why they question their food and drink choices so much before indulging. Talking about wine, in particular, if wine is good for people with diabetes would be the question in mind. If yes, which kind? Having answers to these questions would be important before drinking wine, even on occasion, becomes a habit. 

Is Wine good for diabetes?

Most people with diabetes are allowed to have alcohol, including wine, occasionally. One thing that they need to make sure of is that drinking does not damage any other organ or make their blood sugars rise or fall to an unsafe level. It is important to keep a check on any symptoms of alcohol dependence as that can get very dangerous very fast. If these parameters are well thought out, a person with diabetes need not worry about their alcohol intake. 

There are different types of wines that are available in the market so it is also important to know is red wine good for diabetes or if there is any other better type. Wine is a drink with relatively low sugar content. Both red and white wines reportedly have less than 1.5 grams of sugar in one serving – this is good news for people who like wine. 

Wine coolers, however, are made up of juice. These and some other flavored wine drinks are sweeter owing to the sugar in the drink. This also results in higher calories. These are the drinks that one needs to be careful of. Experts also suggest that small traces of sugar in wine and other drinks might not affect the blood sugar levels of a person with diabetes to a significant level. So, one can enjoy these drinks in moderation and carefully. 

Can people with diabetes drink wine? Yes, if they do so with caution. Alcohol and wine are, in general, higher in calories. In one serving of red wine, the calorie content is 128. Any foods or drinks with higher calories are known to cause a significant increase in weight. If you are a wine-lover, you need to ensure that you are not indulging in several glasses per day to avoid this complication. Since weight gain can cause several diabetes-related distresses, you might want to keep a check. 

Excessive indulgence in alcohol may eventually turn out to be harmful to a person with diabetes as it can:

  • Cause weight gain
  • Increase risk of diabetes complications
  • Create metabolism-related disturbances
  • Cause eye damage
  • Lead to a build-up of harmful acids in the body
  • And cause dangerously low blood sugars

Therefore, the answer to the question is wine good for people with diabetes, would be yes, but only if the individual checks their blood sugars before consumption of wine. 

Which Wines are considered to be Good and Bad?

It would be important for a person with diabetes to stick to wines that are low in calories. Red and white wines offer that comfort. Therefore, is red wine good for people with diabetes? Yes! Other wines might have higher calorie contents along with more sugars. Any cocktails with wine, for example, sweet dessert wine, has double the number of calories making it more dangerous.

The best wine for people with diabetes to drink would be red wine.  Several studies have shown how red wine may actually be helpful and offer certain health benefits as well.

  • In a study on rats it was seen that red wine has certain antioxidants that reduce the risk of diabetes complications and also prevent nerve damage
  • In French women who were overweight, a study showed that red wine reduced the risk of the onset of diabetes. 
  • Another study also showed that red wine is good for diabetes  as wine helps to improve their overall cholesterol levels and glycemic control.

Alcohol and Blood Sugar

There is a direct link between the consumption of alcohol and blood sugar levels in a person with diabetes. If you have diabetes, have you ever noticed your sugars dropping low after a night full of partying and alcohol? It is because the alcohol interacts with the liver. The function of the liver is to release sugars and glucose into the body for several purposes. The liver’s function is also to break down the alcohol entering the body. Even if one is drinking the best wine for diabetes to drink or any other alcohol, the liver does not release glucose. 

In this case, if a person drinks too much or on an empty stomach, there is a risk of hypoglycemia. Since the liver takes 1.5 hours to successfully break down the alcohol, it is important to keep eating light, low-carb snacks to ensure that the glucose levels don’t fall low. 

Book a Free Session

Other Dietary Tips

Can people with diabetes drink wine, yes, of course! However, they need to do so by following a few necessary dietary tips

To make sure that wine good for people with diabetes, people need to follow these steps:

  1. Have only a couple of drinks
  2. Eat well and fill your stomach before you drink to avoid lows
  3. Avoid drinking if the blood sugars are not in control 
  4. Do not drink if alcohol doesn’t suit you.
  5. Eat food along with drinks. 
  6. Do not exercise under the influence of alcohol as in combination, it might lead to hypoglycemia.

Bottomline

Now that you have the answer to can people with diabetes drink red wine and you also know how it affects the body, you know the amount of care you need to take if you are a person dealing with diabetes. While red wine is proven to be one of the better drinks for a person with diabetes, limit your intake to a few drinks only occasionally. Ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions while drinking like eating food, avoiding exercise, and checking blood sugars before drinks and the morning after, to avoid any short-term or long-term complications. Drink safely and with caution and enjoy your evenings.

Back to Top

1-on-1 call with our health counsellor