As you manage your diabetes care, you know the importance of paying attention to what foods you eat, but what about beverages? Many drinks contain hidden sugar that may make them poor choices as you work to balance your health. Check out some of the best and worst drinks you can consume as a diabetic:
• Water – Proper hydration is important for your overall health, but it can have additional benefits when it comes to managing your blood sugar. According to Reader's Digest, diabetics who drink less than 16 ounces of water per day are 30 percent more likely to have high blood sugar than those who drink more. This is believed to be due to vasopressin, a hormone released when your body is dehydrated that makes the liver increase blood sugar. Drink between 6 and 9 8-ounce glasses of water per day for ideal hydration. If you prefer your drinks to have some flavor, The American Diabetes Association suggested infusing your H2O with fresh fruit or cucumbers.
• Milk – To keep things healthy, the ADA recommends only drinking skim (nonfat) or 1 percent milk. Milk is a great source of calcium, potassium, magnesium and vitamin D, and low-fat varieties have been shown to help with weight management - a key part of balancing your health as a diabetic. Milk has also been shown to help reduce blood pressure.
• Tea – Fresh-brewed tea with no added sugar is a great option for people with diabetes who want some flavor in their beverage. Tea comes in a wide range of types and flavors, and most of them contain health-boosting antioxidants. Reader's Digest reports that black tea contains the most polysaccharides, a compound that slows down the process of sugar being absorbed into the bloodstream. That makes black tea an excellent choice for people with diabetes. Avoid bottled iced teas full of sugar. Instead, make your own and add flavor with skim milk or lemon.
• Soda and fruit drinks – Sugary soft drinks are not a good idea for anyone, but especially for those trying to keep their blood sugar in check. Reader's Digest recommends treating soda like a highly indulgent dessert - do not drink it very often, if ever. If your sweet tooth is too hard to resist, choose diet soda instead. Because the long-term effects of consuming fake sweeteners is still up in the air, these sugar-free options should also be consumed cautiously. Be careful when it comes to fruit-based drinks as well. They might appear to be healthy but could be loaded with high amounts of sucrose.
• Excessive coffee – Consuming coffee depends on how it affects your individual blood sugar. Many people find that drinking two or three cups per day has no effect, while others see unhealthy consequences. Reader's Digest notes that if you do choose to consume coffee, don’t add high-fat creamers or loads of sugar. Stick to skim milk, or drink it black.