Everyone wants to enjoy a night of good food and beer with their friends. So, the million-dollar question that every diabetic wants the answer to- “Is beer good for diabetes?” They also want to know the consequences that alcohol consumption will have on their blood sugar levels. Let’s discuss how a diabetic person can drink beer without worrying and some other things they must keep in mind.
How Does Alcohol Consumption Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
Once alcohol is ingested, it doesn’t digest like regular food and directly travels to the stomach. Then alcohol can easily enter the bloodstream and almost instantly reach the brain. Alcohol also prevents the production of glucose by confusing the liver.
When a person consumes alcohol, it disturbs their blood sugar level as well as the hormones that control these levels. This can lead to a condition called hypoglycemia, i.e. low sugar levels. Over some time, alcohol can make the body glucose intolerant by reducing the effectiveness of insulin altogether and making the person insulin resistant.
Particularly in the case of beer, its alcohol content is low while its calorie content is very high. A single can of beer contains 150 calories. Thus when people consume beer, they end up consuming a large number of calories just because of its low alcohol content. Hence beer increases blood sugar levels, which can be very harmful to a diabetic.
In extreme cases, alcohol consumption can cause a sugar spike, which can in return lead to high blood pressure. It can also cause partial cardiac or paralytic arrest. When alcohol is consumed with medications like insulin and metformin, it can react negatively. These medications are used by diabetic patients to reduce sugar levels and alcohol consumption can further drop it. Want to lose weight? Try this Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic method!
Is it safe for diabetics to consume alcohol?
Regardless of the effect of alcohol on blood sugar levels, diabetics do not need to stop consuming alcohol entirely. Many studies (including a recent one from China), suggest that light drinking (one or two drinks a day) can be beneficial to people suffering from diabetes. Moderate beer consumption is known to reduce stress and anxiety, on top of reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.
There exists a J-shaped relationship between consumption levels of alcohol and the risk of type-2 diabetes. When we compare to non-consumers, 24gm consumption of alcohol every day reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes by 30% on average. But when alcohol is consumed in large quantities, the risk of type-2 diabetes increases marginally, compared to non-consumers.
When the blood sugar is low, alcohol competes with the liver to make glucose. After 24 hours of consumption of alcohol, it can lead to dangerously low blood sugar levels if a person is on insulin. It is highly suggested to not drink on an empty stomach and to keep food items nearby, while continuously checking blood sugar levels. Some fats burners similar to Biotox gold include elements confirmed to assist with some well-being situations, however, others may worsen your situation.
How can a diabetic consume beer without worry?
In each serving of “light” beers, there are 5 or fewer grams of carbs. This is the minimum carbohydrate content found in any alcoholic drink. They also have very little alcohol content. On the other hand, craft beers like stouts and IPAs have higher carb content, 15 gm or more.
They also have more calories and alcohol content. So diabetics must stick with light beers if they want to consume more than one. Beer cans usually don’t have nutrition fact labels, to know its calorie and carb content. One can look up this information online before purchasing a particular brand.
A person suffering from diabetes must always keep their consumption to a moderate level. This means two drinks per day for men and one per day for women (due to differences in their body-fat distribution and alcohol metabolism). Excess alcohol can harm the body, so binge drinking is strongly discouraged.
To minimize the effects of beer consumption, one must keep a few things in mind.
- Do not consume beer on an empty stomach. This is because the carbs present in the beer will immediately increase the sugar level. So eat low- carbohydrate snacks (peanuts or chips) with your glass of beer or drink “light” beers (with low-calorie content).
- Take breaks between your drinks and drink slowly to minimize effects. Do not gulp down the beers. Also, balance out the carbohydrate content by consuming water in between.
- Combine the drink with complex carbohydrates like oats, millets, and tapioca to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia.
- The most important thing is to make lifestyle modifications to live without any tension. This includes a healthy diet, more exercise, reducing stress levels, etc. Juices like Karela Jamun Juice and Wheatgrass with Aloe Vera Juice are also recommended.
One drink of beer i.e. one can or a bottle is 12 ounces. But some cans and bottles might contain more than 12 ounces. Sporting events sell large cans of beer (24 ounces each). These count as two drinks, not one!
Consult a doctor before consuming alcohol if you are on any medications or have liver or kidney disease. Alcohol is not at all recommended for pregnant or underage people.
Some Do’s and Dont’s
A person with diabetes must follow these for the safe consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- Monitor blood sugar levels before and after the drink using a glucometer.
- Wear an ID card that informs strangers that you have diabetes while attending parties. This will help people identify a case of hypoglycemia if your blood sugar drops and then they will be able to help you out.
- Do not drive for several hours after consuming alcohol. This rule is applicable for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
- Do not add sugary drinks like colas and juices to alcohol.
- Dink “light” beers- low in alcohol content, carbs, and calories.
- Space out your drinking. Do not have more than one drink in an hour.
- Consult your doctor before pre-planned events.
Any alcoholic drink when consumed in excess can have adverse effects on health. The key is moderate consumption and to space out these drinks.