Although it can be preventable, diabetes is still a prevalent disease that affects millions of people in the country per year. Although the underlying cause is dependent on the type of diabetes you have, they all have one common factor: it can lead to excess sugar in your blood. Too much sugar in your blood can lead to serious health problems.
However, there are ways to monitor your diabetes, or even prevent it. Changing your lifestyle habits, as well as watching what you eat and drink, can play an important role. We spoke with Molly Hembree, MS, RD, LD, and member of our Medical Expert Board, to help determine the best drinks for diabetes. Once you’ve read them all, go ahead and check out Foods That Increase Your Diabetes Risk, Says Expert.
It’s always important to make sure you get the recommended daily intake of water, and the endless list of reasons why you should be getting the proper amount gets longer.
“Water is always going to come out on top as the best drink recommendation, and diabetes is no exception,” says Hembree.
Hembree further suggests that water is the number one thing to keep you hydrated, and the ideal go-to drink for people with diabetes looking to increase fluid intake.
Iced tea can be so refreshing, especially on a hot summer’s day. As good as a cold glass tastes, there’s the catch: you can’t put anything in it. You have to drink the tea as is—unsweetened.
“Be sure to stick to tea without the sugar, or use a little stevia if needed for a low-calorie drink,” says Hembree.
According to Hembree, another benefit of tea is that it’s also usually lower in caffeine when compared to energy drinks or coffee. So, you can drink it throughout the day without worrying about staying up throughout the night.
Similar to the low-caffeine content in tea, you can drink decaf coffee with no additives to the drink.
“Coffee has been researched for its possible influence on stabilizing blood sugars, which is great news for those with diabetes,” says Hembree. “Although we don’t know enough yet to conclusively say coffee brings down blood sugars or prevents diabetes, coffee without the sugar or caffeine is a safe bet for diabetes.”
Not all juices contain high amounts of sugar, so there are options to drink juice, even with diabetes!
“Grab a juice with less than 50 calories a serving, which means that no more than 13 grams of sugar are present per serving,” explains Hembree, adding that you should ideally pick a diluted 100% juice that does not contain added sugar.
To further keep your blood sugar levels in check, pair your juice with a source of protein, healthy fat, or high-fiber food!
Need something refreshing and sweet without too much sugar? Smoothies are the perfect option.
“Smoothies are a terrific opportunity to blend up fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy/non-dairy milk. And, even proteins like protein powder or nuts/nut butter,” says Hembree.
Furthermore, Hembree states that if the fruit smoothies are around 30 grams of carbohydrate, about 200-300 calories, and are made using a good balance of these ingredients, can make for a perfect snack for someone with diabetes. If you want some recipe ideas, we’ve put together a list of the 5 Best Low-Sugar Smoothie Recipes that you can add to your repertoire!
Kayla Garritano is a Staff Writer for Eat This, Not That! She graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more