What you drink is just as important as what you eat when it comes to effectively managing type 2 diabetes. People dealing with diabetes have to be extra careful of what they eat, down to what they drink. This is because even just a single drink can affect their blood sugar level in a significant way. And that means sugary drinks such as soda, fruit juice, sweet tea, energy drinks are completely off the table.
If you are someone dealing with diabetes, the smart and crucial thing you could do is to know the number of carbohydrates (sugar) that you ingest and how they may affect your blood sugar. Healthy measures such as replacing your sweet, sugary drinks with low-sugar/calorie and sugar-free alternatives like water, unsweetened tea, can be a great and effective way to prevent blood sugar spikes, manage your symptoms and maintain a healthy weight.
So here are a few beverages Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind for successfully managing diabetes:
1. Drink Plain Water
Water is one of the best beverages a person with diabetes could drink without having to worry about their blood sugar rising or lowering. Plus, it keeps you well hydrated and keeps your blood sugar regulated. On top of this, drinking enough water can also help your body eliminate excess glucose through urine. Adding a slice of lemon or springs of flavourful herbs can be an excellent way to spice up your regular plain water.
2. Go for Low-fat Milk
Milk is another healthy beverage option for people with diabetes. They are rich in certain vitamins and minerals and are endowed with blood-sugar-stabilizing protein. However, despite this, milk can also add carbohydrates to your diet. Hence, make sure to go for Low-fat and skim milk when choosing for milk and always remember to not go overboard with it. Another healthy option includes soy milk or almond milk but always make sure they do not have added sweeteners and flavours in them.
3. Avoid Sugar-Sweetened Sodas or Teas
Sugar-sweetened drinks such as sodas, juices and teas are best to be avoided as they get absorbed much too quickly, wreaking havoc on the body in a variety of ways, including causing blood sugar spikes. Get into the habit of carrying a water bottle to stay hydrated to avoid the chances of getting a blood sugar spike from drinking sweetened drinks.
5. Drink Vegetable Juice
Most processed fruit juices we think are healthy are actually often loaded with added sugar. A healthy alternative to this would be to make your own vegetable juice, like tomato juice. Besides, regular consumption of tomato juice has been proven to be beneficial in reducing blood pressure, as well as inflammation among obese individuals. Green leafy veggie juices, celery juice, cucumber juice, mixed with a handful of fresh berries, are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. Remember to count the berries as part of your carbohydrate total for the day.
6. Drink Unsweetened Coffee
Unsweetened coffee may be one of the best beverage options for diabetics. Studies have suggested that drinking unsweetened sugar might be beneficial in lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by improving sugar metabolism. This benefit is best achieved when done without any adulteration such as milk, cream or sugar, which only increases the overall calorie count and affect your sugar levels. If you are not a fan of the bitter taste, you can go for Stevia instead of artificial sweeteners for a more natural option.
7. Avoid Sports or Energy Drinks
Unless you have been exercising strenuously for hours, it is best to keep away from these types of drinks. They are packed with carbohydrates (sugar) or caffeine, which is not a very healthy option for people with diabetes. On top of that, it can also cause heart rhythm disturbances, increase heart rate and blood pressure, and disrupt sleep. Water is sufficient to keep you hydrated for your exercise routine. And as mentioned above, unsweetened coffee and tea is also a healthier beverage option for diabetics that will give you a quick energy boost without spiking your blood sugar.
8. Consider Herbal Teas
One of the best and healthiest beverages for people with diabetes is a cup of tea, preferably herbal teas. Not only are they hydrating and soothing, but herbal teas are also free of carbs, calories and sugar, making them the perfect beverage option for people with diabetes. Apart from this, they are also rich in disease-fighting antioxidant compounds, such as carotenoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids. Some of them are also known to possess potent anti-diabetic properties! Chamomile tea, Ginger tea, Hibiscus tea, peppermint tea are some of the best options for managing diabetes.
You may also want to look out for Preserva’s newly launched Diabetic Care Curcumin Tea this. With 9 different varieties of herbs and spices, this unique blend offers a refreshing and healthy way for optimal daily diabetic care, naturally. It is brimmed with flavour and regular consumption of this tea will help you to suppress all your sugar cravings, stabilize your blood glucose levels, all the while supporting and promoting a more effective and efficient way to managing diabetes!
Beverages You Should Avoid
Now that you know what to go for as far as beverage options for diabetics are concerned, it is also important to keep in mind what to limit and completely avoid for successful diabetes management. Here are some of the beverages you should avoid or rethink before taking the next sip:
1. Regular soda
Soda is the number 1 drink people with diabetes have to avoid at all costs. It is jam-packed with sugar and calories that can only wreak havoc on your body. Regular consumption of soda is linked with increased weight gain, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, tooth decay, high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. So, that can only mean that sodas are bad and they should be avoided not just by diabetic individuals, but by everyone due to health reasons. Go for sugar-free, coffee, tea or healthy veggie blend instead!
2. A moderate amount of Fruit Juices
An occasional treat to a glass of fruit juice is completely fine but remember that all 100% fruit juices can add a high amount of carbs into your diet. This can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and increase your risk for weight gain. If you have a fruit juice craving that won’t fade, be sure you pick up a juice that is 100% pure with no added sugars in it.
3. Drink Alcohol Sparingly
While the risks of alcohol consumption for diabetic individuals are still up for debate, but it is still a good thing to be wise when it comes to alcohol, especially for people with diabetes. Drinking alcohol can worsen conditions related to diabetes such as high blood pressure and nerve damage. Also, alcohol may cause a drop in blood sugar, which is especially important for those who take insulin or other medications that can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugars. Therefore, always make sure to be responsible and always drink them in moderation. You can also check with your healthcare professional to determine whether alcoholic beverages are safe for you to drink.
Disclaimer- This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider in case of any health complications.
Cinnamon, a mild brown coloured bark, belongs to the family Lauraceae. It is widely used as a spice and is native to South America and Southeast Asia.
Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, belongs to the plant family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric and cardamom also belong to the same botanical family.
Green Green tea is the most preferred tea by the health-conscious community all over the world. It is derived from Camellia sinensis plant.
Curcumin is a bioactive ingredient of turmeric and is known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is a familiar dietary spice.
Gymnema sylvestre or Gurmar is native to South and Central India, Sri Lanka and belongs to the family Asclepiadaceae.
Native to the Mediterranean region and parts of Asia, Salvia Rosmarinus, commonly known as Rosemary is widely known for its refreshing fragrance.