Avoid Low Blood Sugar While Drinking Alcohol when You Have Diabetes

By Marci Sloane|2018-07-09T12:16:59-04:00Updated: October 1st, 2014|Diabetes Management, DIY Diabetes Articles|0 Comments

Alcohol is high in calories and has few nutrients. If you drink and this is approved by your doctor, please drink wisely and moderately. Moderate drinking is 1 drink per day for women (1 ounce liquor, 4 ounces wine or 12 ounces beer) and 2 drinks per day for men (2 ounce liquor, 8 ounces wine or 24 ounces beer).

Alcohol is metabolized similar to fat in the liver. Your liver supplies you with glucose for energy when you are not eating. When you drink alcohol and have not eaten any food, your body concentrates on breaking down the alcohol and forgets to send out glucose into the bloodstream. This can cause you to have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Try to eat some food, like cheese and crackers) if you indulge moderately in alcohol. With mixed drinks, use diet soda, diet tonic, club soda, or vegetable juice (low-sodium).

Keep in mind that red wine contains high levels of resveratrol – a heart healthy antioxidant – and may help to increase HDL (health cholesterol) levels. If you choose beer, try light beer. The calories and carbohydrate amounts are significantly different from regular beer. Regular beer has 145 calories per serving and 13 grams of carbohydrates. Light beer has 99 calories and 4 grams of carbohydrates. All distilled spirits (liquor) per ounce has about 100 calories and zero carbohydrates. Wine (per 4 ounce glass) has about 75 calories and 1-2 grams of carbohydrates.

About the Author: Marci Sloane

Marci SloaneMarci Sloane, MS, RD, LD/N, CDE, is a registered and licensed dietitian/nutritionist and certified diabetes educator. She grew up in NYC where she graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Physiology from Teachers College at Columbia University. For over a decade, Marci managed a Diabetes and Nutrition Education Center at a multi-bed hospital in South Florida and has been counseling people on healthy eating, weight loss, and managing diseases and conditions such as: diabetes, pre-diabetes, healthy eating, heart disease, weight loss, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, hypertension, hypoglycemia and a host of other nutrition-related diseases. Marci is an American Diabetes Association Valor Award recipient and lectures frequently to the public and healthcare professionals. Marci was a featured panelist for the Sun-Sentinel's "Let's Take It Off" weight loss program, was highlighted in the Palm Beach Post: Meet Your Neighbor, "Woman's book on healthy eating uses humor as a key ingredient" and was a participant in their Diabetes Series in 2007. Marci Sloane is a member of the American Diabetes Association’s Health Professional Committee.

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