Best & worst beverages for those with diabetes

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Food choices often take center stage when it comes to controlling diabetes but what about beverage choices? They also can affect blood glucose and your weight.  To be able to manage diabetes it involves a balancing act both of what you eat and drink along with adequate physical activity and medication, if needed.

There are certain beverages that should be avoided by individuals with diabetes either because they contain far more carbohydrates in the form of sugar that can make blood glucose levels spike.  In addition, because of their high sugar content, they also often contain hundreds of extra calories leading to weight gain in just one serving.

Worst beverages to avoid include:

· Regular soda

· Fruit punch

· Sports drinks

· Energy drinks

· Sweet tea

· Sweetened coffee drinks

Here are the best top 10 zero-or no-calorie drinks suitable for those with diabetes:

· Water

· Sparkling, seltzer, or mineral water

· Unsweetened iced tea

· Infused water (with crushed mint, for example)

· Unsweetened coffee

· Water with a squeeze of lemon

· Diet iced tea

· Diet soda

· Unsweetened hot tea

· Zero- or no-calorie drink mixes

Other healthy beverage choices include low-fat and fat-free (skim or nonfat) milk and 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.  These beverages do contain calories along with carbohydrates but they also have important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and D.  In addition milk provides protein which can create a satiety feeling preventing a person from overeating.  Just remember to control portion sizes as the calories and carbohydrate add up.   Here are some tips on using these beverages:

· Choose low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk – one cup or 8 ounces of skim milk provides 11 grams of carbohydrate and 80 calories.  One cup or 8 ounces of 1% milk also provides 11 grams of carbohydrate but 100 calories.

· Try plain (unsweetened) fortified soy or almond milk – These are good for those who are lactose intolerant or don’t like milk.

· If you drink juice, choose juices that are 100% juice with no added sugar on the label.  Juice provides a lot of carbohydrate in a small portion so count it in your meal plan and keep portions small.  Just 4 ounces or ½ cup of juice contains 15 grams of carbohydrate and 60 calories.

· Try low-sodium vegetable juice.  It has less carbohydrate than fruit juice but plenty of vitamins.  At just 50 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrate in one cup, it’s a healthy choice.