People with diabetes need to be aware of what they can drink as well as what they can eat. Certain beverages contain too many carbohydrates with little nutritional value. Discover 5 refreshing and satisfying beverages that are diabetes approved.
- Everyone needs water to survive, but recent studies revealed water may also assist with blood sugar control. According to the study, those who drank 16 ounces or less of water each day were 30 percent more likely to have raised blood sugar levels than people who drank more water daily. The hormone vasopressin seems to be the connection. This hormone helps the body regulate hydration. When a person becomes dehydrated, vasopressin levels rise and the liver produces more blood sugar. Try to drink six to nine 8-ounce glasses of water daily unless you are on fluid restrictions. Start with a glass of water before each meal to get hydrated and help you maintain a healthier weight. Often people think they are hungry when they are actually thirsty. After a couple of weeks, add a glass at mealtime, too.
- People with diabetes are often concerned about drinking milk because every 8-ounce glass contains 12 grams of carbohydrates. Milk in moderation is good for you. It contains calcium, vitamin D, potassium and magnesium to support essential body functions. Studies have shown milk can help people maintain a healthy weight and lower blood pressure, both of which are concerns for those with diabetes. Opt for low-fat or fat-free milk. You can also choose unsweetened soy, almond, cashew or coconut milk for a different taste with protein and carbohydrates. Try to have two to three servings of dairy products each day. Drink milk with a meal so your body handles the rise in blood sugar that occurs when you consume carbohydrates.
- Often people claim they have trouble getting the day started without a cup of coffee. Those with diabetes are advised to carefully consume coffee due to conflicting studies. Some studies indicated that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes; the reason is due to a compound in coffee called chlorogenic acid that can slow absorption of sugar into the blood. Other studies show people with diabetes may experience elevated blood sugars since coffee may raise sugar production in the liver. What you add to the coffee seems to be more of an issue. Try to avoid or at least limit sweetened creamers, powdered creamers, regular sugar, agave, brown sugar, 4% regular milk or half and half. Most experts agree it is alright to drink up to two or three 8-ounce cups of coffee daily. Have it black or with low-fat or fat-free milk choices and a sugar substitute. You might try Walden Farms sugar free coffee creamers to flavor your coffee. That would be a tasty treat without the guilt.
- Another diabetes-friendly beverage is tea. This timeless beverage can help sensitize cells so they can better metabolize blood sugar. Antioxidants found in plants, called polyphenols, can help lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. Black or green teas have the most benefits for those with diabetes. They can help increase the metabolic function. It has also been linked to weight loss. Most people can drink tea with a touch of lemon, milk or sugar substitute which keeps down the calories.
- People with diabetes are advised to completely avoid beverages with empty calories, including energy drinks, fruit juice, lemonade, fruit punch and regular soda. Drinking limited quantities of diet sports drinks, diet fruit juice and diet soda are allowed. Sometimes these types of drinks can lead you to become tempted to consume other sugary foods because of their sweet taste. Some studies have also linked diet soda to weight gain. As a result, they are not for daily consumption and should be consumed only as a treat. Light beer, spirits and wine can also be sipped in moderation. For women, this allows one drink daily, which is 12 ounces of light beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounces of distilled spirits. For men, this allows two drinks a day. It is best to avoid alcoholic beverages on a daily basis and have them as an occasional treat. Alcohol consists of empty calories and weight gain can cause blood sugar elevations. Too much alcohol without food can cause hypoglycemia.
While you need to avoid sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and fruit juices, there are still plenty of good options for you. Mix it up by sipping sparkling water rather than regular water and try various teas including herbal choices. With a bit of imagination, you can stay hydrated and enjoy the beverages you drink without adding weight or raising blood sugars.