Are red wine and raw honey good for diabetics, and, if so, how much can I drink a day? My reading is between 115-123 in the morning.

Amy Campbell


Red wine, in moderation, has a number of health benefits, including lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, raising HDL (good) cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and lowering the risk of blood clot formation. However, for people with diabetes who take insulin or certain types of diabetes pills, alcohol may increase the risk of low blood glucose. All alcohol contains calories, so if weight loss is a goal, you’ll want to limit how much you drink. Finally, alcohol may raise triglyceride (blood fat) levels in some people. That being said, the guidelines for alcohol use for those with diabetes are no more than two servings per day for men, and no more than one serving per day for women. A serving of wine (red or white) is 5 ounces. While most people with diabetes can safely drink alcohol in moderation, it’s a good idea to discuss the topic with your healthcare provider first, especially if you have diabetes complications (like nerve damage or kidney disease) or if you take certain types of medicines. Raw honey is honey straight from the beehive. It may contain some pollen and wax. While raw honey may be more “natural,” it’s still important to realize that honey (raw or pasteurized) is a sugar much like table sugar, maple syrup and molasses. One tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrate; a tablespoon of sugar contains has 46 calories and 12 grams of carbohydrate. You can use honey, but you need to count it as part of your carbohydrate allotment for your meal or snack. For comparison, a slice of bread contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, as does a small piece of fruit.

July 13, 2013 at 6:38 pm