Living with diabetes can be challenging, especially when it comes to juggling your diet, exercise, medications, testing and more. Staying on top of all of these things is essential to keeping your diabetes in check and avoiding unpleasant symptoms and side effects.
With the right tools, knowledge and a little perseverance, you can manage your diabetes. One place to start is with your eating and drinking habits.
While eating the right foods is important, choosing the right drinks is also crucial. The beverages you drink can affect your weight and blood glucose, and some can even supply hundreds of calories in one serving
. It's best to stick with zero-calorie drinks to prevent a blood sugar spike. You should avoid sodas, energy drinks and beverages with added sugar or sweeteners in them.
Of course, water is always the healthiest beverage choice, since it has no calories, carbohydrates or sugar. But when you're looking for a taste of something different, try unsweetened teas, coffee or sparkling water. Adding a little interest to your drink can be as simple as squeezing a lemon wedge into your water.
If you're still seeking something refreshing to stock your fridge with, try the following drinks.
This sweet, spicy breakfast staple is another great beverage to make at home. Skip the carbohydrates you'll get in the coffeehouse version by steeping a couple of chai tea bags in a cup of unsweetened almond milk, and add cinnamon and black pepper to taste.
If you're craving a soda, grab a club soda and add a squeeze of lemon or some finely grated ginger to help flavor it.
Milk and juice
Low-fat milk and 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugars contain more carbohydrates than the above recommended beverages, but they make up for it by providing important vitamins and minerals. Keep an eye on the serving size to keep your carbohydrates in check. Remember that 4 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 ounces of fat-free milk has 12 grams of carbohydrates.
Homemade chocolate milk
It may seem too good to be true, but it's not: Chocolate milk is a calcium-rich drink option that makes an excellent post-workout recovery drink. However, most packaged brands contain a lot of sugar, so mix 1 percent milk, three teaspoons of cocoa powder and two tablespoons of zero-calorie sweetener to make this at home. Remember that milk contains 12 grams of carbohydrates per 8 fluid ounces.
Remember to choose water whenever possible, but if you feel the need switch things up with these drinks, do so in moderation. To learn more about living with diabetes, call (574) 364-2746 to speak with one of Goshen Health's diabetes educators.