Tired of thinking about the “health” quotient of what you eat and drink in Diabetes? We bring you a simple and easy-to-follow list of the best drinks for diabetics
When you have diabetes, life becomes all about regulating your blood sugar levels with proper medication, diet, and exercise. Does that mean diabetics cannot enjoy delectable drinks and must always feel deprived? Worry not diabetics, a drinks list is ready for you. We present an array of sugar-free drinks for diabetics in this blog and tell you all about their benefits.
How Does What You Drink Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetes?
The food or drinks that you consume contains carbohydrates, which are broken down into glucose (sugar) units by your body. A hormone called insulin facilitates the transport of glucose into cells, where it is converted into energy when required by the body.
Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition that affects your body’s ability to produce (Type 1 Diabetes) or use insulin or both (Type 2 Diabetes), resulting in high blood glucose levels.
You may feel like you are eating healthily for diabetes and still unable to manage your blood sugar levels. In some cases, what you are drinking could be affecting your blood sugar levels. You could be consuming more sugar and calories because you are drinking them without noticing.
Drinks with carbohydrates and sugar will affect your blood sugar more readily. When you consume a liquid with carbohydrates, your body digests it faster than solid food, which you would have to chew. Drinks with added sugar should strictly be avoided by diabetics.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that diabetics stick to zero or low-calorie drinks. These drinks can help prevent spikes in your blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and manage diabetes-related symptoms.
Best Drinks for Diabetics
Diabetics have to be careful about what they eat and drink. Does this mean that they cannot enjoy refreshing and flavourful beverages? Not at all. Here is a list of the best drinks for diabetic patients.
This is the easiest option and will not raise your blood sugar levels at all. In fact, dehydration causes your blood sugar to be more concentrated and water can help your body eliminate excess glucose (sugar) through urine. Aim to drink between 2 to 3 litres of water a day.
If you do not enjoy sipping on plain water, adding slices of lemon, sprigs of mint or crushed berries to your water may enhance its flavour.
Not only is green tea warming and hydrating for the body, but it also has several health benefits associated with diabetes.
Some studies suggest that the polyphenols found in green tea may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower your blood glucose levels, which makes it a great addition to your diet if you have diabetes.
If you do not enjoy green tea, herbal tea varieties such as chamomile, hibiscus, sage, and peppermint tea are great too. Remember to take them unsweetened.
Herbal teas are free of caffeine, carbohydrates, calories, and sugar (when consumed unsweetened). Further, they are also rich in antioxidants, such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress in the body, reduce the risk of various diseases, and improve overall health.
Vegetable juice for diabetes is an excellent source of nutrients. Fresh, non-starchy (low in sugar and high in fibre) vegetables have a low glycemic index (a measure of how fast a food raises your blood sugar levels after consumption) and are suitable for consumption in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.
Broccoli, cucumber, capsicum, celery, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach can be juiced and consumed by diabetics. Remember to choose sugar-free juices for diabetes.
Low-Fat Milk and Milk Alternatives
Milk contains vitamins and proteins and is an important source of calcium for stronger bones and teeth. It also contains zinc and vitamin A, D, B2, and B12, all of which contribute to good health.
Milk is a source of fat and healthy, low GI carbohydrates (lactose sugar) that provide energy to your body, but also have an impact on your blood sugar levels. Skimmed or low-fat milk can be a better alternative to whole milk as it contains lower fat and calories but provides the same nutrients. Choose unsweetened milk and watch your portion size.
For lactose-intolerant individuals and those who do not want to consume dairy-derived foods, non-dairy alternatives like almonds, oats, and soy milk are good options.
Coconut water is a naturally sweet and hydrating beverage with various nutrients. It is a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C. Not only that, studies suggest that coconut water may help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. The magnesium may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels in people with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
Coconut water contains about 94% water and some amount of natural sugar, but it is low in fat content. Diabetics can enjoy coconut water but should watch the portion size and choose unsweetened variants.
Lemon Ginger Water
Lemon ginger water is one of the best homemade drinks for diabetics. It can also be an effective addition to your diabetic diet.
Ginger is low in carbohydrates and calories, and high in potassium, iron, and fibre. It has been shown to help reduce blood sugar levels and regulate insulin response in diabetics. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also help prevent diabetes-related complications.
Lemons are a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamin A and C, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Lemon juice, when consumed along with high GI food, can slow down the conversion of starch to sugar, thus lowering the food’s GI. Its vitamin C content may also have a positive effect on diabetes.
Green smoothies for diabetes are a beneficial way to consume superfoods such as green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. All of these are rich sources of fibre.
Choose vegetables and fruits that are low on the glycemic index. You can use spinach, celery, avocado, apples, peaches, berries, and nuts and seeds of your choice. Blend the ingredients with skimmed milk or yoghurt, which will increase the protein and calcium content of your smoothie.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Diabetes mellitus is a chronic condition in which your body does not produce insulin (Type 1 Diabetes) or is unable to utilise sugar due to insufficient insulin in the body (Type 2 Diabetes).
- What you drink is as important as what you eat in diabetes. Drinks with carbohydrates and sugar will affect your blood sugar more readily. When you consume a liquid with carbohydrates, your body digests it faster than solid food, which you would have to chew.
- Diabetics should stick to zero or low-calorie drinks. These drinks can help prevent spikes in your blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy weight, and manage diabetes-related symptoms.
- Some of the best drinks for diabetes are water, green tea, herbal tea, vegetable juice, low-fat milk and milk alternatives, coconut water, lemon ginger water, and green smoothies.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.
Friendly Asked Questions
Drinks that contain low carbohydrates and sugars are known to help lower your blood sugar levels. Drinks such as water, lemon ginger water, skimmed milk, and unsweetened tea can be beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels.
Juices made of low-sugar vegetables such as cucumber, celery, tomato, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach are good for diabetes. Diabetics should limit their intake of fruit juice, since it delivers the sugar from the fruit but not necessarily the fibre, resulting in spikes in blood sugar levels.
Oral rehydration solution (ORS) is a powder containing glucose, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium citrate. It is used for the prevention and treatment of dehydration due to diarrhoea. Studies suggest that diabetics can safely take ORS. However, it is best to consult a doctor before consuming ORS.
Yes, a small amount of cranberry juice can be a part of a healthy diet for diabetics. However, remember that cranberry juice has natural sugars but no fibre. Limit yourself to 1 serving of ½ cup or 125 ml of unsweetened cranberry juice in a day. It is a valuable addition to the diabetics drink list.
Packaged or sweetened fruit juices, regular soda, and energy drinks that contain sugars are some of the worst drinks for diabetics. The sugar content in these drinks increases your blood sugar levels and accounts for a significant portion of your daily recommended caloric intake.