The biggest concern for diabetics with alcohol isn’t the alcohol itself. Drinking in moderation is usually safe (48). Alcohol – and the mixers used with them – is generally high in sugar with no nutritional value (49). When you do drink opt for light beers, sugar-free mixers such as club soda or diet soda, or a single glass of red wine.
Additionally, be aware of the effect that alcohol may have on your glucose levels and/or medication. Your body uses glucose stores to process the alcohol, resulting in a blood sugar dip for up to 24 hours (50). As a diabetic you need to watch out for symptoms of hyperglycemia initially, then hypoglycemia over the next day. Medication can make this worse.
Bottom line: Always drink with a meal, and be careful of having more than one at a time. Discuss medication interactions with your doctor before consuming alcohol and avoid sugary mixers.
This may feel like a lot of information to take in, especially if you’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes. Take things one step at a time – most of the foods to avoid with diabetes are VERY easy to accommodate. It will help to get the rest of your family on board as well. Even if they aren’t diabetic, a diabetes diet will only improve their (and your) health.
See also: Reversing diabetes Type-2