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Diabetics should not drink alcoholic beverages because alcohol can unbalance the ideal blood sugar levels, altering the effects of insulin and oral antidiabetic drugs, which can cause hyper or hypoglycemia.
When the diabetic ingests alcoholic beverages in excess, such as beer, for example, the liver is overloaded and the blood glucose regulation mechanism is impaired. However, as long as the diabetic is following an adequate diet and with controlled sugar levels, he does not need to completely exclude alcoholic beverages from his lifestyle.
Maximum amount a diabetic can ingest
According to the American Diabetes Association, the maximum amount of alcohol that a compensated diabetic can drink per day without harm to he alth is one of the following:
- 680 ml beer with 5% alcohol (2 cans of beer);
- 300 ml of wine with 12% alcohol (1 and a half glass of wine);
- 90 ml of distilled beverages such as whiskey or vodka with 40% alcohol (1 serving).
These amounts are calculated for male diabetics with controlled glycemic levels, and in the case of women, half of the amounts mentioned should be considered.
How to reduce the effect of alcohol on diabetes
To reduce the effect of alcohol in diabetic people and avoid hypoglycemia, you should avoid drinking on an empty stomach, even with controlled diabetes, and drink in the recommended amounts. Therefore, it is important that, when the diabetic drinks alcoholic beverages, they also eat foods with carbohydrates, such as toast with cheese and tomato, lupines or peanuts, for example, to slow the absorption of alcohol.
Anyway, before and after drinking, it is important to check the blood glucose and correct the values, if necessary, according to the indication of the endocrinologist.
Also know which foods to avoid in diabetes.