Beverage Choices for Diabetics
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, then you likely already realize that what you eat will affect your blood sugar. Since the buildup of blood sugar can be dangerous, it is important to consider the beverages that you consume just as carefully as you would your food intake.
- Hydrating your body properly with water has a lot of benefits, such as mental health and energy. Many patients do not realize that being thirsty for water can be mistaken as craving sweet foods. You can curb your cravings for unhealthy foods or drinks by keeping a water bottle handy. If you don’t like plain water, look for flavored water or sparkling water that is sugar free. Sometimes, adding a splash of 100% fruit juice can make your glass of water more enjoyable without the guilt.
- Herbal tea. Although herbal tea is essentially flavored water, sipping on a mug of hot tea can keep you busy and less tempted to reach for snacks.
- Caffeinated beverages. Black or green tea and coffee can give you energy in a healthier way than soda beverages, but you should still only drink these in moderation. Avoid adding sugar or heavy creamers.
- Fruit juice. 100% fruit juice is better for you than juice cocktail, but it still contains sugar and carbohydrates. Make sure you record these drinks in your meal plan daily.
- Milk is a good source of vitamins and nutrients, like calcium. It’s also more filling than water. However, milk does contain some calories and carbohydrates, so you will need to make sure you are accounting for these in your meal plan. Look for fat free options, or even unsweetened nut milks.
- Energy drinks and soda. These types of drinks are proven to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and can lead to blood sugar spikes in diabetic patients. Limit these drinks altogether to avoid derailing your meal plan and carbohydrate count for the day.
Be sure to pay attention to nutrition labels when it comes to choosing any food or beverage. Give careful consideration to carbohydrate content and serving sizes. When in doubt, ask your doctor about the best beverages for your health.