April 8, 2010

List of Alcoholic Drinks that are Safe for Diabetics in Moderation

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

People who are suffering from diabetes can consume alcohol, but only in moderate amounts. Though, having diabetes does not necessarily mean that a person has to stop alcohol completely, a few considerations need to be made:

  • There are many alcoholic drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, especially mixed drinks.
  • High consumption of alcohol could lead to an increase in serum triglycerides
  • When metabolized, alcohol can produce energy. Hence, it can have dietary repercussions.
  • Alcohol contains a lot of calories, but no nutritional value. Even a light beer can add about a hundred calories. Therefore, diabetics who are trying to lose weight should stay away from alcohol.
  • A serious condition, called hypoglycemia, often associated with diabetes, can be mistaken for a drunken state. Alcohol could thus disguise the symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Alcoholic drinks which are acceptable in moderate amounts:

  • Dry wine
  • Medium-dry white wine
  • Red wine
  • Dry, light beer
  • Dry sherries
  • Spirits (Vodka, Gin, Whiskey) with diet mixers

Alcoholic drinks that have high sugar content:

  • Liqueurs
  • Cocktails
  • Sherry
  • Spirits with sweetened mixers
  • Port or sweet wine
  • Wine coolers
  • Dark beer, with residual sugar
    Neat and undiluted drinks, which have a high level of alcohol should be avoided by diabetics. There are other circumstances, in which people with diabetes should avoid alcohol completely. Diabetics, who suffer from the following conditions, should avoid alcohol altogether:

  • Damaged nerves: Alcohol can cause a lot of damage to person’s nerve cells. Drinking even moderately when suffering from diabetes, could lead to severe nerve damage, which could eventually increase numbness, pain and burning or tingling sensations.
  • Eye diseases: Heavy drinking like consuming three drinks or more in one day can worsen eye disease conditions.
  • High blood pressure: People who suffer from both diabetes as well as high blood pressure should avoid alcohol.
  • High triglycerides: The consumption of alcohol increases the levels of triglycerides in a person’s blood. Even the consumption of about two drinks in a week could increase one’s triglycerides. Diabetics who suffer from high triglycerides must keep away from alcohol.

Low Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetics who are on medication, like oral pills or insulin shots, may face the problem of low blood-sugar level, because of alcohol consumption. As the level of blood-sugar in a person’s body drops, the liver starts producing glucose, using the stored carbohydrate. But the presence of alcohol prevents the liver from producing glucose. This could cause a drop in the blood glucose. It is strongly recommended that diabetics consult their doctors, about the type and amount of alcohol they can consume.