Diabetics have to be careful about what they consume, whether it be foods or beverages, in order to avoid worsening their condition and causing diabetes complications.
Blood sugar spikes are something diabetics need to be wary of, thus keeping that and other things in mind, here are 11 beverages for diabetics to drink and stay away from.
Best Beverages for Diabetics
The first drink that you should be looking for when thirsty is the life-giving liquid – water, and this applies not only to diabetics but to all the people looking to lead a healthy life.
When it comes to diabetics, high blood sugar levels can cause dehydration in the body.
Adequate consumption of water will not only hydrate your body but it can also assist in eradicating excess glucose present in the body by way of urine.
Especially, consumption of good amounts of water before a meal can help in reducing your calorie intake.
Men should be drinking a minimum (RDA) of 3.7 liters (125 ounces) of water daily, while the RDA for women is 2.7 liters (91 ounces).
Even though the RDA of water encompasses the fluids you drink and the water you get through foods, it is always better for diabetics to meet this minimum amount through water alone.
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If you are not into drinking just plain water throughout the day, there are other healthy options that you can opt for.
This includes flavored water, which consists of water flavored using the juices from citrus fruits, most commonly lemon and lime.
Aloe vera pulp can be a great option in place of this citrus fruits as it may have beneficial effects linked to diabetes.
Tea with its antioxidant-rich nature and negligible calories is certainly an ideal diabetic beverage.
Furthermore, it is also known to assist in lowering LDL cholesterol & blood pressure and decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
There is also a lot of variety to choose from, like black tea, green tea, herbal tree, oolong, etc., but the best ones are certainly green and black.
Like tea, plain coffee without any added ingredients like cream, sugar, sweeteners, etc. is very low in calories and makes for a great addition to a diabetic diet.
If you want, you can always add a little amount of skim milk and a zero-calorie sweetener like stevia to brighten up the taste.
Small amounts of 100% fruit juice with no added sugar in it are the ones you should be looking for if you are a diabetic looking to drink fruit juices.
Preferably, look to consume fruit juice along with other foods as fruit juice is bereft of the fiber present in fruits, so it is better to always drink them alongside something else in order to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels caused by the sugar present in the juice.
Vegetables are one of the cornerstones of a healthy diet and with their plethora of nutrients and low amounts of sugar should be one of the first foods on a diabetic diet.
Additionally, they are low in calories as well, making them a great diabetes-friendly food.
While eating whole vegetables also provides dietary fiber along with the other nutrients, it may not always be possible to consume them whole.
Vegetable juices are a great alternative as they not only provide all the nutrients (excluding fiber) but to get a single serving of vegetable juice, more than 1 serving of whole vegetables are required to be juiced, thus leading to more amount of nutrients.
Thus, vegetable juices can be helpful in getting your daily required intake of vegetables.
Preferably, always look to consume juices made from non-starchy vegetables like kale, spinach, beetroot, tomatoes, carrots, etc. as they are low on the glycemic index and do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels which starchy vegetables can cause.
Milk with its high amounts of protein, calcium and other nutrients makes for a healthy beverage for diabetics to consume, provided you are opting for the unsweetened or skim versions.
Plus, it is also known to help in lowering blood pressure.
Worst Beverages for Diabetics
The beverage that a diabetic should never ever be drinking is the regular version of soda.
One regular soda drink contains around 140-150 calories, all of which is just sugar.
Drinking just a single regular serving of soda will send your blood sugar levels soaring without providing even a single nutrient.
Hence, it is mandatory that you avoid the consumption of regular soda at all costs.
Energy drinks are known for their caffeine-rich nature along with providing a glut of carbohydrates.
It has been backed by research studies that energy drinks not only cause a spike in blood sugar levels but can also lead to insulin resistance, so it is better to avoid their consumption completely.
Diet soda has artificial sweeteners in it, which can adversely affect the bacteria present in your gut.
This can lead to a rise in insulin resistance, aggravating diabetes in the process.
So don’t fall prey to its’ zero calorie nature, instead go for any of the healthier alternatives mentioned above.
Even though alcoholic beverages are not the foremost when it comes to drinks diabetics should avoid, it certainly has its fair share of negative effects that diabetics should be wary of.
To begin with, there can be potential interactions between alcohol and some of the diabetes drugs. So it is better to notify your doctor about your alcohol consumption and take his advice before consuming it.
Secondly, alcohol can cause either a rise or fall in blood sugar levels depending upon the amounts you drink.
Consuming alcohol in moderate quantities may lead to a rise in blood sugar levels while drinking it in excess can actually cause a drop, sometimes even to dangerous levels, particularly in type-1 diabetic people.
Excess alcohol consumption can also be dangerous for people with diabetic neuropathy or high blood pressure.
All in all, it would be ideal for diabetics to avoid alcoholic beverages but if you are one of those who simply can’t go without it, then inform your doctor and get his advice before consumption.