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How Beer Impacts Your Blood Sugar Levels?

Published on: Jul 08, 2024
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Whenever we want to celebrate something or have a party with our friends, beer is often the beverage of choice. From casual gatherings to grand weddings and social events, beer is usually preferred as an ‘easy, no-fuss’ drink among options like wine, rum, vodka, and whisky.

However, if you have diabetes, you might wonder, “Is beer good for diabetes?” It’s essential to understand how beer impacts your blood sugar levels.

Although some studies suggest that alcohol, including beer, can be beneficial for health in specific quantities, the potential benefits for those with diabetes are often outweighed by the risks. It’s crucial to understand these risks to make informed decisions about alcohol consumption.

Is beer good for diabetes? This question is important for anyone with diabetes to consider when deciding whether to drink beer.

Let’s start with what types of beer we usually consume.

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What are the Types of Beer Available?

Different brands offer a wide variety of beers, including lagers, ales, stouts, and wheat beers.

Each type of beer has a different nutritional composition, which can affect your blood sugar levels in various ways. Here is a table showing the nutritional value of a beer (This is generic and not of any a particular type of beer or brand):

nutritional value of beer for diabetes

Impact of High Calories in Beer

Beer is a high-calorie beverage. A typical 330 ml bottle/can of beer contains about 140-160 calories, though this can vary depending on the type of beer and brand.

These calories come from alcohol and carbohydrates, contributing to weight gain if consumed excessively, which can further complicate diabetes management.

Impact of Carbohydrates on Beer

Beer has a significant amount of carbohydrates, which can directly impact your blood sugar levels. A 330 ml serving of beer can contain anywhere from 10 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.

These carbs are quickly absorbed into your bloodstream, leading to a spike in blood sugar levels.

Impact of Alcohol in Beer

Alcohol affects your liver’s ability to release glucose into your bloodstream. Moderate alcohol consumption may cause a temporary drop in blood sugar, and excessive drinking can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially if you are on insulin or other diabetes medications.

Impact of Protein in Beer

Beer contains minimal protein, usually less than 2 grams per serving. Protein has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels but is essential for overall health.

How Much Beer Is Too Much?

Moderation is always key for people with diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends no more than one drink* per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

However, it’s essential to consult with your doctor or nutritionist to determine the safe quantity specifically for you.

*One drink is 330 ml of beer, 150 ml of wine, or 45 ml of liquor. The ADA recommends no more than one alcoholic drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.

Is Beer High in Carbs?

Beer is typically made with grains that are high in starch content, like barley and wheat. This makes beer relatively high in carbohydrates as compared to other alcoholic beverages like spirits or wine.

That’s why it’s a less favorable option for people with diabetes who need to monitor their carb intake closely.

What are the Risks of Drinking Beer in Diabetes?

For people with diabetes, drinking beer poses several risks:

  • Can Make Your Blood Sugar Go High: As we said earlier, the high carbohydrate content in beer can lead to rapid increases in blood sugar levels.
  • Can Lead to Gain-Weight: High caloric content can contribute to obesity, worsening diabetes control.
  • Can Cause Hypoglycemia: Alcohol can interfere with glucose production, causing dangerously low blood sugar levels.
  • Can Lead to Medication Interactions: Beer can interact with diabetes medications, reducing their effectiveness or causing adverse effects.

What are the Alternatives to Beer Drinks?

For those with diabetes or anyone looking to reduce their alcohol and carbohydrate intake, there are several alternatives to beer that can be enjoyed during social gatherings:

1. Kombucha

This fermented tea drink is a low-sugar, low-alcohol beverage that offers a tangy and refreshing taste. Depending on the brand and type, kombucha contains between 6-12 carbs per 240ml serving.

Even at the lower end of 6 carbs, it takes away a significant portion of your daily carb allowance, so opting for a 120ml serving might be a more suitable choice.

2. Diet Soda

A popular low-carb alternative, diet soda offers the familiar taste of regular soda without the added sugars. With zero carbs, it is a convenient option for those looking to reduce carb intake, allowing you to enjoy a fizzy drink without worrying about carbohydrates.

However, be mindful of any added artificial sweeteners if you have any sensitivities, such as headaches, digestive issues, or allergic reactions.

3. Sparkling Water with Lime

A simple and hydrating option, adding a splash of lime or other fruits to chilled sparkling water makes for a delightful and low-carb beverage. This refreshing drink has zero carbs and can be customized with various fruit infusions, such as cucumber, mint, berries, or citrus slices, to keep things interesting.

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How We at Fitterfly Can Help You?

Beer or any other alcoholic drink is not recommended for people with diabetes. Beer is high in carbohydrates, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Alcohol also affects the liver’s ability to release glucose, which can lead to low blood sugar, especially for those on insulin. Beer also has a lot of calories, which can contribute to weight gain and make diabetes management difficult.

Our coaches at Fitterfly understand that it can be difficult to say ‘no’ to your favorite beer, especially in a social gathering. Keeping this challenge in mind, our Nutrition Coaches and success Coaches help you tackle your craving for beer or any other food item and also guide you on how to make alternate healthier choices

. Apart from that, we also provide customized exercise routines to keep you active and fit. Our comprehensive approach ensures you have all the support you need to manage your diabetes effectively.

To learn more about the Fitterfly Diabetes Prime Program, just give us a missed call at 08069450746, and one of our program advisors will reach out to help you better.

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does Alcohol Cause Diabetes?

While alcohol itself does not cause diabetes, excessive consumption can lead to conditions like pancreatitis, weight gain, and liver disease, which can increase the risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, alcohol contributes to weight gain and insulin resistance, significant risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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