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Diabetes and Alcohol

Does having diabetes mean I have to give up my glass of wine with dinner?

In a word... no.  Having diabetes does not mean you have to give up alcohol, so long as your alcohol consumption is in moderation.  Moderation in alcohol terms equates to having 1 or less alcoholic beverage each day if you are a woman and 2 or less alcoholic beverages each day if you are a man.

What is a serving of alcohol?

Be aware of what a serving is... 1 1/2 fl. oz. of hard alcohol, 5 fl. oz. wine, or 12 fl. oz. beer is considered a serving.  Consider the serving size and stick to this.

Aren't there benefits from consuming alcohol?

You may have heard of benefits from consuming alcohol.  Some research supports alcohol having protective benefits against heart disease.  This is controversial because alcohol can be harmful as it increases risk for some cancers and adds empty calories to the diet.

What are the concerns with alcohol and diabetes?

Alcohol generally reduces blood sugar and can lead to hypoglycemia.  Judgment can be affected when drinking and one may not be aware of hypoglycemic symptoms due to impairment from overindulging.  If you are going to have a drink, it is recommended you do so with a meal.  Food aids in delaying absorption of alcohol.

Is alcohol high in calories?

Alcohol does provide calories, often lots of them!  Alcohol is broken down in the body similar to fat and can be stored easily.  Be aware of mixers for alcoholic beverages, these are often high in calories and carbohydrate.

What about medications?

Know your medications.  Some medications may warn against consuming alcohol.  Avoid alcohol if it interferes with your medications.

Alcohol in moderation can fit into your meal plan.  Weigh out your risks and understand the amount of calories added to your diet by consuming alcohol.  Do not exceed 1 drink per day if you are a woman and 2 drinks per day if you are man.

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