People with diabetes spend a lot of time and energy carefully watching what they eat. That’s because they know that a healthy diet is critical to effective blood sugar management. But all of that thoughtful meal planning may overlook another essential aspect of what we put in our bodies: what we drink.
The beverages that people with diabetes consume can have just as much impact on blood glucose levels as food can. In a world full of sugary, caffeinated drinks, it is important that individuals with diabetes pay attention to their beverage consumption.
Obviously, drinking lots of water is as vital for people with diabetes as it is for everyone else. Drinking enough water helps the body eliminate excess glucose through urine. But few of us live on water alone. We crave variety. But knowing the number of carbohydrates your beverages contain and how they may affect your blood sugar is critical. That’s why the American Diabetes Association recommends zero-calorie and low-calorie drinks – it keeps things simple.
Here are some excellent, diabetes-friendly drinks that can help quench your thirst and give your taste buds something to be happy about:
Unsweetened Coffee and Tea
By themselves, coffee and tea can be perfectly pleasant and safe beverages to kickstart your day or chill you out at night. In fact, a 2012 study suggests that drinking coffee might help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And green tea is well-known for its many beneficial effects, such as reducing blood pressure and lowering harmful LDL cholesterol.
However, you should enjoy your coffee and tea as is. Adding sugar, milk, or cream to your coffee or tea increases the overall calorie count and may impact your blood sugar levels. If you must sweeten things up, try using natural sweeteners like stevia, raw honey, and pure maple syrup.
A lot of fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. Instead, try tomato juice or a vegetable juice such as V-8 as an alternative.
You can try making your own juice blend of green leafy vegetables, celery, or cucumbers with a handful of berries.
Dairy products contain essential vitamins and minerals, but be mindful that they also add carbohydrates to your diet. Always choose unsweetened, low-fat, or skim versions of your favorite type of milk. You can also try dairy-free, low-sugar options, such as fortified nut or coconut milk.
Controlling the intake of added sugars through a healthy diet – including the beverages you drink – is especially important for people with diabetes. It is one part of a comprehensive approach to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Another critical aspect is effective, accurate, and continuous monitoring of those levels.
Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) is a tested, approved, and easy-to-use transceiver device that helps those with diabetes stay in tune and ahead of the game with their diabetes monitoring. Contact us today to see if you qualify for CGM and access our guide to continuous glucose monitoring.