If you love drinking and have diabetes type 2 at the same time, you will be told to stop alcohol consumption. However, sometimes you are still allowed to enjoy alcoholic drink, as long as you control the intake. Moderate alcohol consumption is generally deemed okay for diabetic people, as long as it is moderate. According to American Heart Association, “moderate drinking” means two drinks per day for men, and one drink per day for women. Meanwhile, excessive drinking is described as five drinks in two-hour span (for men) and four drinks (for women).
Drinking and diabetes can walk hand in hand, as long as you pay attention to the signs of hypoglycemia in your body (especially if you need insulin injection), since alcohol can increase insulin production and drastically reduce blood sugar level. Learn how to manage blood sugar when drinking even if you have diabetes.
Tips to Drink Alcohol for Diabetes People
If you are diabetic, make sure to choose drinks that do not contain additional syrup or sugar, such as fruit juice or Coke. If you want to mix your drink with something to add flavor, add something that contains very little or even zero sugar. For example, do not drink your vodka with cranberry juice, since it can add an amount of 20 to 23 grams of sugar in one serving. Mix your vodka with lime and unsweetened club soda instead; it has fewer calories and contains almost no sugar. Or, just stick to unmixed drink such as champagne, wine and bourbon.
When you drink alcohol, make sure to have water nearby. Drink a glass of water between your alcoholic beverages. This will help you preventing dehydration, and also reducing the intake of alcohol you consume. Plus, since alcoholic beverages can make you hungry, drinking water can help curbing the need to munch, which can be bad for your calorie intake.
However, that does not mean you can just skip meal between your drinks. Instead, having some foods during the drinking activity is very important if you have diabetes.
Why Diabetic People Must Eat while Drinking
Alcohol works quickly in reducing your blood sugar; it works as little as 24 hours after you drink. Therefore, make sure to eat something with slightly higher carbohydrate amount in it before drinking (but no extra sugar). If you drink something made of wheat or malt, do not count it as ‘carbohydrate intake.’ It is not the same, and it can be dangerous for your health. For example, you may eat a slice of whole grained bread slice, with a thin spread of low fat peanut butter. If you are required to take insulin intake, always carry snacks with you, just in case you cannot find something to eat in the drinking venue. A pack of unsalted wheat crackers, for example, is a great snack for drinking.
Finally, always check your blood sugar level, especially before bed. Between 100 and 140 ml/dL is the safe range. If it is below 100 mg/dL but still above 70 mg/dL, eat something rich in carbohydrate such as bread and peanut butter or wheat crackers. With proper caution, people with diabetes can enjoy drinking without getting sick.