Wine and Diabetes
When hanging out with family and friends, you may want to pour a glass of wine to relax, but if you are diabetic you might be caught unaware and wonder if this is safe for you to do. There’s been a lot of conversation around wine and diabetes. Let’s see what research says about wine and diabetes.
Top 3 Benefits
1. Lowers Blood Sugar
Does this mean I can drink all I want? That’s certainly a tricky question. Here’s what we know.
Drinks containing alcohol do tend to lower blood sugar, but you have to remember that these drinks still have calories and not a lot of nutritious value. So, you need to keep in mind that you are still adding calories to your diet, and since type 2 diabetics might need to lose weight, this isn’t necessarily a great idea.
Also, you need to remember that with diabetes, your goal is to keep a relatively balanced blood sugar count throughout the day. Just like there are consequences and dangers of high blood sugar counts, the same applies to low blood sugars.
2. Good for Heart Health
There has been plenty of research showing that red wine is good for your heart. Red wine drinkers have seen their levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or good cholesterol, rise a couple of points in studies and noted that it provided improved overall cardiovascular health.
However, that doesn’t mean drinking wine is a good idea for everyone, especially if you are on insulin or have addictive tendencies. It’s worth discussing with your doctor if you are a fan of red wine though. Be sure to ask them how much is appropriate.
3. Improves Insulin Resistance
While red wine can help lower blood sugar levels, it can also improve a diabetic's insulin resistance, which is equally as important. Of course, make sure you are drinking wine in moderation, or else these health benefits won't apply. Polyphenols, components found in red wine, are to thank.
Alcohol Drinking Mistakes
While moderate consumption of red wine can provide several health benefits for diabetics, be sure not to overdo it, as this can result in the opposite, harming your health. There is a reason why doctors tell diabetics to watch how much they drink. It's also recommended to make sure the drinks you are consuming aren't too sugary, as this can cause a blood sugar level imbalance.
Drinking too much alcohol as a diabetic can lead to:
- Chronic inflammation.
- Build-up of acid in blood.
- Unbalanced fat metabolism.
- Nerve damage.
- Eye disease.
- Dangerous blood sugar drops.
Do Diabetics Get Drunk Faster?
The rate that a person’s metabolism would hit a drunken stage is different for everyone, whether they have diabetes or not.
The problem with drinking and diabetes is that the alcohol lowers your blood sugars. If they go too low, you might start experiencing symptoms like dizziness or slurring your words.
Unfortunately, those are also symptoms of someone who has imbibed a little too much so you might be confused for being a bit tipsy when, in actuality, you might be having a diabetic reaction and need some help.
The bottom line is always to consult with your doctor and dietician on a plan specific to your situation. If you and your medical team decide that it is okay for you to imbibe now and then, then be sure to remember some basic common sense rules:
- Don’t drink and drive. Enough said there.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach. It’s important to have some food or snacks containing both carbs and protein while you have a drink to help keep that blood sugar more stable.
- Make sure someone you are with knows you have diabetes and warn them ahead of the low blood sugar symptoms. Even better, if you plan to drink on a regular basis, you might consider a diabetic ID bracelet.
- Drink water as well. It will help flush your system of any ill effects and keep you hydrated.
- Always test your blood sugarsto be sure you are okay.
Having type 2 diabetes isn’t always easy to navigate through. But, with a little creativity, knowledge and a great medical team, you not only survive but thrive.