Can Diabetics Drink Alcohol?
E-mails to Christine (GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director)
Christine is a Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator
E-mail your questions to Christine at: nutrition@GlucoMenu.com
Q. What are your comments about having a couple of glasses of red wine with supper? Cheers!
A. Here is an article on the GlucoMenu® website that addresses diabetes and alcohol:
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.
You'll also want to speak with your doctor or healthcare team about
whether consuming alcohol is acceptable or not considering your specific
Christine Carlson, MS, RD, BC-ADM, CDE
GlucoMenu® Nutrition Director
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