Alcohol and diabetes

Posted on July 31, 2009. Filed under: Diabetes/diabetic recipe | Tags: , |

Alcohol is becoming an important part of our lifestyles and is sadly considered acceptable on most social occasions such as weddings, social gatherings and as part of our work culture too. Going a beer after work seems to be becoming a normal thing to do.

Alcohol provides approximately 7 kcal per gram, unfortunately these are empty calories and get deposited as fat reserves in our body. This means that it only provides calories without any nutrients and thus leads to weight gain.

If you must have alcohol here are a few pointers to keep in mind.
Avoid cocktails as they are usually made with calorie laden sweet mixers like juices, cream and aerated beverages. Use a calorie free drink mixer like soda, tonic water or water. Refer to the table of Common Alcoholic Combinations, see below, to discover the difference yourself.
Since alcohol has a tendency to lower blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia), restricting its intake is remarkably important for diabetics, as one can become hypoglycemic. If you wish to have an occasional drink, never do so on an empty stomach.
Have a low fat and carbohydrate rich snack, to keep you going. Alternatively have your drink with a light meal or a snack, avoiding deep fried foods and calorie-laden munchies. Try Hummus, or Baked Tortilla Chips…with Tomato Salsa instead.
Drink only when and if the blood sugar levels are in control. Even if it is a special occasion, avoid alcohol on such days. Do not plan to drive for several hours after you have had a drink.
If you drink more than occasionally ask your nutritionist to work it in your diet plan so that it does the minimum harm to your body. Also he/she will recommend the kind of alcohol that you should have. For example 1 alcoholic beverage equals to 12- oz of beer, 5-oz glass of wine or 1 1/2 oz of distilled spirits like whiskey, gin etc. 1 serving of alcohol is equal to 2 fat servings on the food exchange list.

Caloric Value of Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic Beverage



Beer 12 oz (approx. 330 ml) 178
Wine 60 ml 63
Port Wine 60 ml 95
Gin (1 peg) 30 ml 73
Rum (1 peg) 30 ml 73
Whisky (1 peg) 30 ml 73
Vodka (1 peg) 30 ml 73
Brandy 30 ml 77

Common Alcoholic Combinations

Alcoholic Beverage



Wine + Soda (Spritzer) 30 ml + 100 ml 34
Gin + Lemonade 30 ml + 220 ml 169
Gin + Tonic water 30 ml + 220 ml 73
Rum + Coke 30 ml + 220 ml 169
Rum + Water 30 ml + 220 ml 73
Whisky + Coke 30 ml+220 ml 169
Whisky + Soda 30 ml + 220 ml 79
Vodka + Orange Juice 30 ml+ 220 ml 284
Vodka + Tonic water 30 ml + 220 ml 73

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