Expert Q&A

Beverages: Recommendations for Diabetics?

What are good beverages for diabetics to drink?

-Christa from California

Forget the sugar-sweetened drinks! Studies have linked fruit punch-type beverages, soda pop, and other drinks containing high-fructose corn syrup to weight gain. Furthermore, they make it difficult to control blood sugars, and if you are pre-diabetic, the beverages double your risk of type 2 diabetes. While natural 100 percent fruit juices do not increase your risk for diabetes for pre-diabetics, they do make controlling your weight and blood sugars difficult.

Optimally, you should:

  • Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day (equal to zero carbohydrates)
  • Drink three, 8-ounce servings of low- or non-fat milk products (each equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates)
  • Limit consumption of 100% fruit juices to no more than 4- to 6-ounces per day (equal to 15 grams of carbohydrates).

If you follow these guidelines, you will be on the right track for lowering your weight and possibly your blood pressure, while controlling your blood sugars. If you have pre-diabetes, you may lower your risk for developing it.

What should you do if you cannot choke down water? Choose beverages that are mainly water, but have a little added flavor. Here are some beverages to try:

  • Non-calorie flavored waters
  • Club soda
  • Diet tonic waters
  • Flavored seltzer waters
  • Diet Fresca
  • Diet ginger ale
  • Iced or hot tea
  • Black coffee.

You can also add flavor to regular tap water by using:

  • Lipton Ice Tea To Go packets
  • Crystal Light On The Go packets
  • Flavors 2 Go packets
  • Citrus fruit slices.
Megan Porter, RD/LD
Contributing Expert

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