Best and worst drinks for people with diabetes

Credit: Unsplash+

Living with diabetes means making thoughtful choices about what you eat and drink every day. Drinks, in particular, can be tricky. Some can help manage your blood sugar levels, while others might send them soaring.

This review explores the best and worst drinks for people with diabetes, based on current research and guidelines, all explained in straightforward, easy-to-understand language.

First, let’s dive into the drinks that sit on the friendly side of the fence for people with diabetes. Water is the champion here, as it hydrates without adding any sugar or calories to your diet.

Staying well-hydrated helps your kidneys flush out excess glucose, a key for managing blood sugar levels.

Research published in the journal Diabetes Care has shown that good hydration is associated with a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia).

Next up are tea and coffee, but with a catch—these are best consumed black, without added sugars or high-calorie creamers.

Some studies, including those in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggest that drinking coffee and tea might actually reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes onset, thanks to their antioxidants and other bioactive compounds.

However, the addition of sugar and cream can counteract these benefits, so moderation and mindfulness in preparation are crucial.

Sugar-free drinks, like diet soda and other zero-calorie beverages, are often marketed as diabetes-friendly.

While they don’t directly raise blood sugar levels, their impact on appetite and how they may affect blood sugar control in the long term is still a subject of ongoing research.

Some studies have raised concerns over potential links between artificial sweeteners and changes in glucose metabolism, so it’s best to enjoy these in moderation.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the drinks best left on the shelf. Sugary drinks, including regular soda, sweetened iced teas, fruit juices, and energy drinks, are at the top of the “worst” list. These beverages can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association advises against consuming drinks with added sugars because they can lead to weight gain and increased risk of type 2 diabetes, among other health issues.

Fruit juices, even 100% fruit juice, can be deceptive. Although they come from fruit, the juicing process removes fiber, leaving behind a high concentration of sugar.

A glass of orange juice can have a similar amount of sugar as a soda. While whole fruits are a great addition to a diabetes-friendly diet, their juiced counterparts are best enjoyed sparingly.

Alcoholic beverages require careful consideration. Alcohol can interfere with some diabetes medications and can cause either high or low blood sugar levels, depending on how much you drink and if you’re eating at the same time.

Light to moderate drinking may be okay for some people with diabetes, but it’s important to check with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.

In conclusion, managing diabetes doesn’t mean you have to stick to water alone, although it’s certainly the best option. Black coffee, tea, and occasionally, sugar-free drinks can safely find their place in your diet.

However, sugary drinks, sweetened fruit juices, and excessive alcohol are best avoided or consumed in very limited amounts. Making informed choices about what you drink is a simple yet effective way to manage your diabetes and maintain your overall health.

Remember, every sip counts towards your blood sugar goals, so choose wisely and drink healthily.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Potatoes: friend or foe in the battle against diabetes? and findings of This blood pressure drug may protect kidney health in people with diabetes.

For more information about health, please see recent studies that Mediterranean diet can reduce belly fat much better, and Keto diet could help control body weight and blood sugar in diabetes.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.