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
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.
Be aware of what a serving is... 1 1/2 oz. of hard alcohol, 5 oz.
wine, or 12 oz. beer is considered a serving. Consider the serving size
and stick to this. Alcohol generally reduces blood sugars 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.
A word about 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 carbohydrates.
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.