Blood sugar finger prick testing with portable glucometer.

Drinks other than water are the greatest way to stay hydrated but it’s a totally different story if you are diabetic. Diabetic patients have to take care of anything they intake and it also implies drinking.

What kind of drinks are suitable for a diabetic patient is what we are going to discuss in this article.

In diabetes your blood sugar level becomes too high or too low, therefore not only sugary drinks, but what kind of fruit juices you drink also matters.

To stay hydrated in diabetes, you therefore have to make certain changes in your choice of drinks. These steps might limit your drinks’ choice but they are necessary for your well-being.

Dr. Kathleen Wyne, who is an endocrinologist at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus says, “Having diabetes means you need to try to eat a healthy, balanced diet. If you don’t, then the medications don’t work as well as they could, and you may need more medications.” 

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No matter the type of diabetes you have, having a balanced diet plan for food and drinks can only save you from trouble.

If you want to have a healthy lifestyle, then not only you should pay attention to healthy eating but also work on controlling portions of what you eat.

“Healthy eating means avoiding high-fat meals, such as fried foods, concentrated sweets, and animal fats,” says Wyne. “And portion control means eating smaller amounts.”

If you have diabetes, then it does not mean that you just have to monitor your sugar intake. But salt intake among other things like limiting fast food, and intake of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in a balanced ratio is also important.

To maintain the blood sugar level, it is also recommended to take only zero or low calorie as our topmost priority is to stay away from sugary drinks because they are especially dangerous according to The American Diabetes Association. 

“In the long term the spikes in glucose from the simple sugars play a key role in developing complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, and nerve damage,” Wyne says.

But if you are craving too much for a sugary drink like coffee, soda, or an energy drink then it is advised to take them with some food. This will lower the pace at which the sugar absorbs in the bloodstream which in turn will prevent a sudden hike in the blood sugar level. If you have sugary drinks without any food then the sugar will find its way into your bloodstream quickly because the digestive system does not have to break too many molecules. The food as mentioned above will give your body some time to prepare itself for higher sugar levels which will take place gradually. But it does not mean that you can drink a lot of it. You still have to monitor the overall intake of carbohydrates which you are going to intake.

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“You should avoid sugared drinks because they cause a rapid rise in the blood glucose level,” Wyne says. “This can lead to dehydration and, possibly, to diabetic ketoacidosis,”

Ketoacidosis can be fatal because it makes the body use its fat to produce fuel by burning it. And ketones are produced as a byproduct of burning fat which is very dangerous for health.

Therefore, it would be better if drinks with added sugar were taken out of the diet completely. But, then again you will also have to limit your natural sugars, “even juices that are 100% from fruits,” says Dr. Richard Seidman, former chief medical officer of L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest publicly operated health plan in the U.S. “They’re high in fast-acting carbohydrates much like sugars, and a cup of soda or juice will have the equivalent of six teaspoons of sugar.”

Jill Weisenberger, who is the author of “Prediabetes: A Complete Guide” and “Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week.” also advises to stay away from sugary beverages.

“It doesn’t offer much in the way of nutrition other than hydration,” she says. “It’s high in calories, high in carbohydrates, and jacks up blood sugar.”

And if you are opting for diet sodas then you might be saving yourself from sugar spikes but they will increase the risk of heart diseases and obesity.

In short, whatever you choose to drink you have to limit its intake while monitoring the level of carbohydrates being indigested.

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