Recommended Drinks for Diabetics

Diabetics often don't realize how many beverages are off limits until they have to start counting carbohydrates in their drinks.

While it's true that you might have to swap some of your favorite drinks for healthier versions, there's plenty to sip on, whether you're wanting a morning pick-me-up or a diabetic-friendly beverage to have on hand at cocktail parties.

Morning Beverages

The great news for diabetics is that plain coffee is still an option, as it's naturally low in carbs and calories. If you tend to stop at your local coffee shop for a mocha or latte, swap out the sugary syrups for sugar-free versions and low-fat milk.

Another energizing morning drink is warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice or any variety of plain herbal tea. If you need to, you can sweeten your tea with an artificial or natural low- or no-calorie sweetener, like stevia.

On-the-Go

Soda machines can still provide diabetic-friendly choices. Opt for diet soda, which will come without the added sugars and carbohydrates of regular soda.

While bottled juice tends to be high in sugar, you can look for options that say "100% juice" and "no-sugar added" on the label. Just remember that even natural juice has sugar and carbohydrates, so be sure to track this.

You may also be able to find other low-calorie or no-sugar drinks on the go, like diet lemonade or iced tea. To be safe, read labels and make sure they don't contain hidden calories or sugar.

At a Party

Alcohol isn't completely off limits for diabetics, but you have to drink smart. Avoid sugary mixed drinks and opt for no-calorie mixers or sweeteners in cocktails.

Distilled spirits are lowest in calories and carbohydrates, followed by sparkling wine, dry white wine and red wine.

If you just want something to sip on that isn't alcoholic, pour some soda water into a glass over ice and add a lime wedge.

For more recommendations on drinking safe with diabetes, consult the American Diabetes Association's guidelines here.

Jazzing up Water

Plain old water is always your best bet for hydration, but you can jazz things up by adding slices of fresh fruit or a squeeze of lemon or lime to your water.

Some water-flavoring products now available are also low- or no-calorie options. Just remember not to overdo it on artificial sweeteners, however, as they may interfere with satiety cues and actually cause sugar or carbohydrate cravings.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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