Did you know that diabetes is one of the most common health conditions, and about 30.3 million people in the U.S. have it? As per the statistics of 2015, there are approximately 7.2 million people who have this condition.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition wherein the body is unable to process blood glucose. Although you can treat the condition effectively if you take care of specific lifestyle changes, health management, and diet control.
There are various causes of diabetes, and genetics being the major one. Every condition depends on the type of diabetes, and so the treatment differs accordingly. However, there are a few dietary changes that are known to effectively alleviate the symptoms of this health condition and control the rising levels of blood glucose.
Some drinks for diabetes are known to lower the increasing sugar levels in the body, and these are pretty simple to find or even prepare at home. Let us delve deeper into what are the beneficial drinks for diabetes, which drinks to avoid, how to prepare DIY drinks, and more.
What to Drink?
Anything low on sugar and carb can be an excellent choice for diabetes. Water, low-fat almond milk, and fresh fruit juices are all considered good. Apart from these drinks, there are a few other drinks that you must try as a healthy option for people with diabetes. Read on to find out about these drinks.
[Also Read: How to Get Rid of Diabetes]
1. Grapefruit Juice
In the year 2014, a few researchers at the University of California found that grapefruit juice comes with excellent properties of lowering the glucose levels in the body.
In the research, they concluded that the juice could increase the sensitivity to insulin. That is why grapefruit juice is now getting further researched as an effective treatment for reducing the blood sugar levels.
2. Cranberry Juice
Cranberries(1) have polyphenols that protect the cells from any damage from the disease. Moreover, as per the United States Department of Agriculture reports, two glasses of cranberry juice for diabetes can help you in lowering the levels of blood glucose and type 2 diabetes. It is also significant to check the calorie content in cranberry juice before drinking and also opt for a low-calorie option.
3. Herbal Tea
Tea has many health benefits which have antioxidants(2) that detoxify the body. Herbal tea such as the licorice root tea offers a sweet flavor, although subtle, to your tea and does not even raise the levels of glucose.
Some people might complain about the inflammation during the consumption and therefore herbal tea, in such instances, works as a great drink for diabetes. You can either buy yourself a cup of herbal tea or go for DIY recipes for diabetes and prepare a cup of hot herbal tea and enjoy it.
[Also Read: Herbal Remedies for Diabetes]
Unsweetened, low-fat milk is a decent option for diabetics. It is rich in calcium, minerals, vitamins, and can add the right amount of calorie to a person’s diet.
However, as a diabetic, one should check the nutritional facts of the milk that they are consuming and also keep track of the carbs in milk to managing the blood sugar levels effectively.
5. Fresh Fruit Juice
Although fresh fruit juice is healthy, still you must not over consume it as it can increase the sugar intake in your body. Moreover, you should consume juices along with a healthy meal as drinking juices alone can raise blood sugar levels.
[ Read: Cereal for Diabetics ]
Drinks to Avoid
Following a healthy diet that includes healthy food, fruits, and the right types of drinks helps in improving the condition of diabetes. One must know in detail about the best and worst drinks for diabetes to help the immune system to fight the condition. Here are some of the drinks that a diabetic must avoid.
1. Fruit Cocktails
Although it sounds yum, fruit cocktails should not be a part of a diabetic’s diet. Fruit punch, for instance, is a drink that is loaded with sugar and might taste like fruit juice, often contains a high amount of corn syrup or sugar that is unhealthy for the body.
These have a high concentration of sugar but come with low nutritional value. One might consider fruit cocktails as the best alternative for fruit juices, but they are not. They should enjoy fresh fruit juices or fresh fruits instead of these premade fruit cocktails that are not real juices and aggravate the condition of diabetes.
2. Energy Drinks and Soda
Sugar-sweetened beverages such as energy drinks and soda upsurge the threat of weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. These drinks should be avoided by diabetics as these are loaded with carbs and do not contain fiber, which means that people can drink a lot of these drinks.
Moreover, drinking soda on an empty stomach or without any healthy foods can raise the levels of blood sugars. To decrease the risk of increased levels of blood sugars, one should altogether avoid these drinks.
[Also Read: Foods for Diabetes]
3. Alcoholic Drinks
Diabetics can consume alcohol, but there should be a proper check. Beers, for example, have high carb value while some other alcoholic drinks contain sugar, which is unhealthy for the body, and one must avoid it. Drinking excess alcohol also has high chances of weight gain and increased levels of blood sugar. Therefore, one must avoid consuming alcoholic drinks for diabetics as much as possible.
4. Flavored Coffee
Although coffee gets considered as a tasty and good drink option for a reduced risk of diabetes, flavored coffee is a strict no. Flavored coffee contains a high amount of carbs, which raises blood sugar levels, drastically. It is best to go for plain coffee as it is one of the best drinks for diabetes. Or else, you can also try espresso with just one tablespoon of heavy cream.
If you want to keep diabetes under check, it is best to choose your drink options wisely.
Alcoholic Drinks for Diabetics
Alcohol is not a good option for people with diabetes. However, one can always keep a check on alcohol consumption and see to it that nothing gets overboard. For example, beer is known to have high amounts of carbohydrates, whereas many other alcoholic mixers get packed with sugar. This mixture is a bad combination as it might lead to a raised level of blood sugar along with the condition of weight gain.
Moreover, it is a known fact that excessive alcohol consumption is harmful to the liver, and in some of the worse cases, it also damages the organ. It is true not just for the people with diabetes, but for the public in general, and therefore, it is highly advisable to consume alcohol in moderate quantity.
Alcohol affects the functioning of the liver and its capacity to produce glucose that may cause the blood sugar levels to drop at an unexpected rate. It causes hypoglycemia and can be a problem for people who use insulin. However, it is observed that many people with diabetes can drink alcoholic drinks in small quantity. So, it is best to take the doctor’s recommendation for the same.
As per the American Diabetes Association, women with diabetes can consume one alcoholic drink a day whereas men can consume two drinks a day. Herein, one drink is equal to 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of spirits, and 12 ounces of beer.
Tips for Diabetics While Consuming Alcohol
- Drink alcohol with food
- Do not exceed the amount recommended by the doctor
- Keeping a check on the diabetes levels after consuming alcohol
- Check the calories in alcoholic drinks before drinking to avoid excess calories
- Use mixers such as sparkling water in place of soda
- Check with the doctor to see how alcohol would react with the ongoing medications
One should never drink alcohol as an alternative to carbohydrates in the daily diet. Instead, consumption of alcoholic drinks should be in limit and with the regular diet only.
One of the main things that help in treating disease is eating the right diet. It is crucial to have a wholesome diet and keep a check on what to eat and what not to eat. Here are 8 DIY drinks for diabetes that are easy to prepare and effective.
1. Chamomile Tea
- Take two tablespoons of chamomile tea for every eight ounces of water.
- Boil the water and add the chamomile tea in it and let it steep for five to ten minutes.
- Strain the tea in a cup and drink it hot.
- If you want sweet flavor, then you can add raw honey, but still, it is advisable to avoid it.
2. Herbal Tea
- Take one to two tablespoons of herbal tea. Remember, the more the tea, stronger the tea flavor.
- Steep the herbal tea for about five minutes.
- You can add lemon slices to your tea and drink it hot.
[Also Read: Tea for Treating Diabetes]
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Drink
- Add around one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water
- Mix freshly squeezed lemon to it
- You can also add some cinnamon powder for flavor
- Drink it every day to control blood sugar levels effectively.
[Also Read: Benefits of ACV for Diabetes]
4. Spice Tea
- Take a cup of hot water
- Sprinkle some turmeric and cinnamon powder in it
- Mix it well and drink it daily
- These spices are known to control elevated levels of sugar
5. Hot Chocolate
- You can treat yourself with some hot chocolate.
- Add cocoa to low-fat almond milk and mix well.
- Drink it hot.
- Cocoa is known to decrease blood pressure as well as improve glucose metabolism.
6. Bitter Melon and Cucumber Juice
- First, ake two large bitter melons
- One large cucumber
- Take half a lemon
- Blend all these and prepare a juice
- It is a beneficial drink for alleviating the symptoms of diabetes
7. Cucumber Mint Cocktail
- Take one-half cucumber and chop it, three to five mint leaves, and 1.5 ounces of gin
- Add crushed lime, and two tablespoons of lime juice and one stevia leaf
- Blend all the ingredients
- Serve your diabetes-friendly cocktail with a slice of lime
[Also Read: Benefits of Moringa to Control Diabetes]
8. High-Fiber, Healthy, Green Smoothie
- Blend one small, cubed avocado, one cup of unsweetened low-fat almond milk, and one cup of spinach
- Add one tablespoon of chia seeds, half tablespoon cinnamon and a half cup of unsweetened yogurt to the blender.
- You can also add blueberries to your smoothie and half a lemon.
- Enjoy your drink!
In the case of diabetes, it is essential to know which drinks to avoid and which ones to include. Also, one of the other crucial things is to keep a check on the nutritional value and calories of the drinks that you consume. It will help you to know your drinks better.
The primary goal here is to avoid sugar-sweetened drinks, soda and aerated drinks, processed and packaged drinks, and drinks that are high in carbs.
You can treat increased blood sugar levels effectively and control it by keeping these simple and best drinks for diabetes in mind. Drink and eat healthy and keep a regular check on the diabetes levels to stay healthy and reduce the risk of diabetes.
1. Is Orange Juice Good for Diabetics?
Orange juice contains a low amount of glycemic acid that does not cause harmful sugars, which takes a toll on health. It also contains vitamin C that helps in improving the functioning of the blood vessels, thereby being helpful to those who are suffering from diabetes. Therefore, we can conclude that orange juice and diabetes go hand in hand.