Good and bad drinks for those who have diabetes

There are two main forms of diabetes — Type 1 and Type 2, but both result in high blood sugar levels if left untreated. Liquid calories can be good or bad for your blood sugar and diabetes, but there are a few simple ways you can get the best from your beverages.

What you should look for

If you have diabetes you’d know that your body’s needs are different to the needs of those who don’t have diabetes. In order to more efficiently and effectively control your bloody sugar it is important you eat a balanced diet and manage the amount of carbohydrates you eat and keep the amount of carbs you consume consistent from day-to-day. This might mean you need to pay closer attention to food and drink labels and nutritional facts, and you’ll be looking for the serving size and carbohydrate level of any drink.

Drink more…

Water: A study published in the journal Diabetes Care suggests that if you drink around 500ml or less of water each day you were more likely to have higher blood sugar than those who drank more. It’s all to do with regulating your body’s hydration and when you are dehydrated your liver is prompted to produce more blood sugar. It’s therefore recommended that you have between six and eight 250ml glasses of water each day for women and up to nine glasses or slightly more for men.

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Milk: When your body wants more than just water, milk is a good option. Dairy plays a key role in a healthy balanced diet and gives your body a strong source of protein, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. Because milk is a low GI product it is ideal if you have diabetes. According to Nutrition Australia, you want to get at least three serves of dairy products, including milk into your diabetes management plan.

Drink in moderation…

Tea: Think of it as flavoured water, but the flavour doesn’t have calories and there are a bucketload of antioxidants in tea, especially green tea and herbal tea. According to a German study, found that if you sipped up to four cups of tea a day you lowered your risk of developing diabetes by more than 15 per cent. The exception here is iced teas that have a lot of sugar added to them. What you’ll want to avoid is adding sugar to your cup of tea, otherwise it doesn’t have the same benefit.

Coffee: There’s a debate about whether drinking coffee is appropriate for those who have diabetes. Short-term effects are said to make it unfavourable, yet over a longer period coffee drinking has been found to be beneficial. If you drink coffee in moderation it can provide an energy boost without the blood sugar spike, but just be sure you don’t add sugar or flavour to your cup.

Pure fruit juice: Fruit juice delivers sugar from the fruit, but does not necessarily delivery the fibre, so you’ll need to only have a small amount of pure fruit juice. Obviously drinking juice on its own can lead to a blood sugar spike, but when you consume it with other foods it’s said to help prevent this.

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Consider avoiding…

Soft drink and energy drinks: Soft drinks and beverages with additional sugar can be bad for your diabetes, especially if you have Type 2 diabetes. They provide too much sugar and don’t require a lot of digestion, which can lead to a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels.

Alcohol: It’s best you monitor your alcohol intake. Beer mightn’t contain sugar but it does have carbs and many alcoholic mixers have sugar. If anything alcohol is said to cause your blood sugar level to drop, which can be bothersome if you are taking medication designed to increase your body’s insulin level. Be sure then to have alcohol with food. You also want to limit your drinks to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Do you have diabetes? How important is diet and exercise to you?