There is much written about healthy food choices for patients with diabetes; but it is also equally important to focus on the beverage choices as well. The best and healthiest beverage choice for hydration purposes is, of course, water. After all, our body is composed of about 50-65 percent water; the amount of water in the body decreases with age. Because of the importance for adequate hydration to keep our bodies functioning efficiently, water is king among beverages.
Using sweetened beverage choices, especially if you have diabetes, can add calories and contribute to weight gain. Even when using “artificial sweeteners” such as sucralose or aspartame, you may be making yourself more likely to gain weight, according to recent studies. This can be because the artificial sweeteners can “trick” your body, altering metabolism. Fruit juices sound healthy, but most, especially orange juice, have a high amount of concentrated sugars, and not much fiber. Concentrated sugars in juice can raise blood sugars more than even a candy bar. It is much healthier to consume the whole fruit than the juice. which has more nutrient and fiber value.
It is, therefore, best to use water as your “go to” beverage. You may say that water is not satisfying enough without flavoring. You can get creative with water, adding orange slices and other fruits to the water for a natural refreshing flavor.
There is also a new beverage choice that is gaining a lot of attention. It is Kombucha. Kombucha is a tea beverage that is fermented. It has some fizz to it, so it almost appears carbonated. The taste is slightly sweet and somewhat acidic, tasting a bit like apple cider. So now we have a substitute for soda and juice. Did I also mention that kombucha is fermented? Fermented foods are healthy, especially for people with diabetes because they contain natural probiotics that help put the good bacteria back in the gut and keep your digestion healthy. Sounds like this drink may be worth a try!!
Keep in mind that juice can have as much sugar as a can of soda; it is fructose, a different kind of sugar, but sugar nonetheless. As an example, a cup of grape juice contains 36 grams of sugar, compared with 27 grams of sugar in a cup of grape soda. Fructose is metabolized differently than regular sugar; it is primarily broken down by the liver.
Watch those hidden sugars in your drinks; keeping in mind that daily sugar intake should hover around 25-30g /day. A flavored coffee at Starbucks can have as much as 44 grams of added sugar per serving!! Yogurt drinks, energy drinks, and even coconut water contain sugar. Check all labels before consuming these. Remember, just because something sounds healthy or is advertised to be healthy, doesn’t mean it is healthy!!
Stay hydrated and be well!! The general recommendation is to drink one half-one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily.
Don’t forget that at TempraMed we are here to protect you and your insulin and to keep you safe.