If you have diabetes, you know it’s important to watch what you eat—but don’t let solid food steal the limelight! Beverages high in sugar and carbohydrates are just as guilty of affecting your weight and blood glucose levels.
Thirsty? Here are some tips to sip by.
What should I avoid?
Duck drinks like regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sweet tea and other beverages high in sugar. These will raise blood glucose and can provide several hundred calories in just one serving.
See for yourself:
- One 12-ounce can of regular soda has about 150 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. This is the same amount of carbohydrate in 10 teaspoons of sugar.
- One cup of fruit punch and other sugary fruit drinks has about 100 calories (or more) and 30 grams of carbohydrate.
Sick of plain water?
Water is always a healthy and easy option, but we know it can be a bit boring sometimes. Luckily, there are healthy alternatives you can reach for when you’re thirsty.
You can try making H2O more exciting by adding a dash of lemon or lime juice, or even low-calorie flavored drink mixes. These are convenient to have around, come in a variety of flavors and usually have less than five grams of carbohydrate per serving.
Ever heard of infused water? Even better than a splash of lemon or lime, put water in the fridge with cucumbers, strawberries or fresh mint and you’ll be amazed at how refreshing it tastes.
Unsweetened tea and coffee are other low-calorie, low-carbohydrate options. Most diet drinks (like diet soda or diet lemonade) have zero grams of carbohydrate per serving, so they won’t raise blood glucose on their own.
What better time than summer to start sipping on a new and refreshing drink with some zing!
Milk and juice
While it’s usually best not to “drink your calories,” there are possibilities other than water, tea and coffee. Low-fat milk and 100-percent fruit juice are options because they contain important vitamins and minerals, and in the case of milk, protein. Just remember to control portion size when you drink them and count them in your meal plan, as calories and carbohydrates can add up.
For milk, choose low-fat (1 percent or half-percent) or skim. One cup of skim milk provides about 12 grams of carbohydrate, 80 calories, calcium and vitamin D. If you are lactose intolerant or don’t like milk, you may want to try fortified soy milk, rice milk or almond milk instead.
Even 100-percent juice with no sugar added can be an option, but the portion sizes are much smaller and eating the fruit is always better. If you choose juice, be sure the label says it is 100-percent juice with no sugar added.
Juice provides a lot of carbohydrate in a very small portion. Usually three to four ounces (not even a half cup for some!) contains 15 grams of carbohydrate and 50 or more calories. Instead of drinking juice by itself, try combining a splash with sparkling water to make a spritzer!
What’s your favorite healthy beverage? Share below!