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10 of the Best Alcoholic Beverage for People with Diabetes

Michael Picco
Michael Picco

Technical Director - Energy & Environment

But drinking a moderate amount of certain types of alcohol, such as red wine, may be safer. Diabetic eye disease (i.e., retinopathy) is another troublesome tissue complication of diabetes and one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States today. Good blood sugar and blood pressure control as well as regular eye examinations are essential for the prevention of retinopathy.

  • And those with diabetes need to bring down elevated glucose levels.
  • LDL cholesterol is strongly related to cardiovascular disease and stroke and has been called “bad” cholesterol.
  • After consuming alcohol, always check your blood glucose level to make sure it is in the safe zone.
  • But if you have diabetes and want to enjoy happy hour, it’s best to take an approach that offers you some protection.
  • Furthermore, if you have been drinking heavily, there may be a risk of hypos for up to 16 hours (or even more) after you have stopped drinking.
  • Alcohol intake significantly increases the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).

Reduction of LDL cholesterol decreases a person’s likelihood of suffering a heart attack or stroke. LDL cholesterol levels tend to be lower in alcoholics than in nondrinkers (Castelli et al. 1977), suggesting that chronic alcohol consumption may have a beneficial effect on cardiovascular risk. However, Lin and colleagues (1995) reported that the LDL cholesterol in alcoholics exhibits altered biological functions and may more readily cause cardiovascular disease. Those observations suggest that the reduced levels of vitamin E in alcoholics actually may have harmful long-term effects. The pancreas, which is located behind the stomach, serves two functions. The first function, which involves most of the pancreatic cells, is the production of digestive enzymes.

Test Your Blood Sugar

Among white wines, Champagne may be a particularly good choice if you’re trying to keep the carb content to a minimum. However, this depends on the style of Champagne — dry and brut varieties are low in sugar. For instance, a standard 5-ounce (150-mL) glass of white wine also provides 3.8 grams of carbs (22). Busch beers are good alternatives for people can diabetics get drunk with diabetes due to the low carb content of most of the brand’s products — including their beers that are not branded as low carb. One study found that women who drink moderately have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women who do not drink. The study had a number of limitations, however, which might alter the perception of impact.

  • There are several reasons why alcohol may pose risks to people with type 2 diabetes.
  • If you are following a calorie-controlled meal plan, one drink of alcohol should be counted as two fat exchanges.
  • Your liver will choose to metabolize the alcohol over maintaining your blood glucose, which can lead to hypoglycemia.
  • Further, the authors stated that people with higher insulin levels at the beginning of the study may have already had metabolic issues not related to their intake of sugar-free sodas.
  • Under the influence of excess glucagon, some of the free fatty acids are converted to ketone bodies and secreted into the blood, causing severe health consequences.
  • This potentially beneficial effect was observed in both men and women, regardless of age.
  • This is because the liver is where excess glucose is stored in a form called glycogen.

This may lead to excessively low blood sugar — and even more so if you drink on an empty stomach (2). Aside from having a low carb content, red wine may lower the risk of diabetes-related complications if consumed in moderation. White wines, especially some types of Champagne, also generally have a low carb count. This article lists 10 types of alcohol that are most appropriate for people with diabetes, based on carb content, as well as a few drink types to avoid. The 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans define moderate alcohol intake as up to 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men (7). Normal fasting blood sugar levels should be in the range of 70–100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).

Alcoholic beverages

If you have diabetes and are wondering how much alcohol you should drink, it is worth reading the following list to see how much alcohol is contained in each type of drink. If you decide to use recreational drugs, speak to your diabetes team about the best ways to stay safe and manage your diabetes. While there are some diabetes-friendly cocktails, such as the ones mentioned above, traditional cocktails are generally very high in added sugars.

If you don’t have a CGM, you’ll need to test your glucose manually when you’ll be drinking. Avoid drinking traditional cocktails, dessert wines, and cream liqueurs, because they’re generally high in sugar. People often think of this as a “healthy” cocktail due to its vegetable content. For example, a 5-ounce (150-mL) serving of extra-dry champagne provides 1.7–2.5 grams of carbs. Brut and extra-brut champagne in the same serving size offer fewer than 1.7 grams and fewer than 0.8 grams of carbs, respectively (23).

Vegetable juice

So it will focus on dealing with alcohol first rather than converting glycogen to glucose. When blood sugar levels dip too low, the liver converts glycogen into glucose. This glucose is released into the bloodstream to bring levels up to normal.

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