Nutrition

Can Alcohol Be Good For People With Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

If you have diabetes, drinking alcohol can prove to be tricky. Considering the effects of alcohol on glucose levels, choosing the most appropriate drink is paramount. So what is the guideline for people with diabetes? When and How much alcohol can be had? And more importantly When and Which Alcohol should be avoided?

Multiple studies around the world have put out guidelines which say people with diabetes can consume moderate amounts of alcohol. Moderate consumption of alcohol can be defined as as One drink every day for Women and Two drinks for Men.

Given below are the percentage of alcohol found in the most common types of liquor

Most people with diabetes can enjoy some alcohol, but it's important to know how that particular alcohol can affect your blood sugar. While moderate amounts of alcohol may cause blood sugar to rise like for example - A sugary cocktail might spike your blood sugar. On the other hand if you drink too much, or drink on an empty stomach or take certain meds, alcohol can actually decrease your blood sugar levels causing it to drop into dangerous levels.

Alcohol can be consumed in moderate limited amounts while following certain safety tips. The most common reason why all alcohols are not suitable is because they contain a lot of carbohydrates which can wreak havoc on your sugar levels.

Things to Remember about Alcohol and Diabetes

  • Alcohols often have a medium to high calorie content. But they are empty calories and don’t provide your body with proteins, fats, minerals or vitamins.
  • You are also likely to crave and eat more sugary foods or fried snacks resulting in it becoming a high-calorie meal.
  • Once consumed, alcohol travels into the stomach as it doesn’t need to be digested like regular food.
  • Alcohol directly enters your bloodstream and is instantly sent to the brain, which confuses your liver and prevents it from making more glucose. So when you drink too much, your blood sugar levels drop, resulting in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Calorie Content of Various Alcohols

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Popular Alcoholic Drinks for Diabetes.

Listed below are 4 popular alcoholic drinks that can consume while keeping an eye on your sugar levels.

1. Beer

Is Beer good for diabetes? yes, Beer is one of the most popular choice for diabetics. Light beers are preferred since they are low in sugar and calories, healthier and better when compared with regular beers. However, stay away from Craft Beers as most of them contain twice the amount of alcohol and calories when compared to regular beers.

2. Vodka

Vodka is one of the safer alcohols for diabetes, since it is just water and ethanol and has no added sugars. However Vodka is also a pure concentrated alcohol, so drinking too much of it can have a blood sugar lowering effect, where your body’s blood sugar can significantly fall overnight and lead to hypoglycemia. On the other hand, Vodka mixed with other sugary drinks or added flavors can also affect you badly by raising your blood sugar levels.

Recommended Considerations for consuming Vodka are-

  • Vodka must always be paired with food so that there isn’t a rapid reduction in blood sugar levels.
  • Vodka must be avoided as a drink for late nights.
  • Too much Vodka could make you crave more sugary food, causing an increase of calorie intake and hamper weight loss.

3. Red Wine

Is wine good for diabetics? yes, In all varieties of wines, red wine is associated with the greatest health benefits for those with diabetes and for general consumption because of its antioxidant levels. Some studies say Red wine may help your body use insulin better and boost heart health. It may also help in decreasing the risk of complications related to diabetic retinal disease that damages blood vessels within the eyes.

4. White Wine

White wines are usually regarded as drinks with high levels of sugar. But their carbohydrate levels can be nearly similar to red wines. Champagne may be a good option when trying to reduce the number of carbs to a minimum. But, this is contingent on the nature of Champagne. Dry and brut wines are lower in sugar.

Bottomline

The most suitable types of alcohol ideal for people who are diagnosed with diabetes are those that have the lowest sugar or carb content. It includes light beers, white wines, red wines, spirits distilled, and low-carb cocktails, provided you stay clear of syrups or sugary drinks. Whichever kind of alcohol you pick, remember there's more than sugar to consider that interferes with managing blood sugar.

Traditional drinks like dessert wines, liqueurs, and cream liqueurs are likely to have higher levels of sugar, which can cause a sudden spike in glucose levels. Additionally, alcohol can increase the risk of hypoglycemia when taking certain diabetes medicines, including insulin and sulfonylureas If you're taking medication, discuss with your physician what you can and cannot drink safely. Moderate and limited alcohol consumption with prior restrictions can assist in the management of one’s diabetic health. Moreover, you must consider drinking as a sparring activity and, advisably, not regularly.

FAQs

1. What are the Risks of Over Consuming Alcohol for People With Diabetes?

In particular, heavy drinking may cause the accumulation of acids in the blood, which could have serious health effects. In addition, drinking alcohol can cause more complications related to diabetes, like problems with metabolic processes of fat, nerve damage, and eye disease.

2. What amount of Alcohol can a diabetic have?

One alcohol drink for women and two for men is generally the rule for all, whether diagnosed with diabetes or not.  

3. How does Alcohol affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Although a moderate amount of alcohol can increase blood sugar levels, excessive alcohol may lower your blood sugar levels and sometimes cause it to drop to dangerous levels, specifically for people who have type 1 diabetes.

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