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Diabetes

Diabetes Diet?

08/28/2008

Question:

I have Diabetes Type 2. My question is, what`s so bad about drinking beer? Is it the carbs or what`s bad?

Part 2-Carb`s on a diet - Is is better to use a low or high carb diet?

Answer:

It isn't necessarily bad to drink beer when you have diabetes--it's the quantity that you need to limit. It is recommended that people with diabetes have no more than 1-2 drinks per day (1 for women, 2 for men). Beer and other alcohol can contain carbohydrate, so it is best to choose light beer, dry wine or hard liquor. Overconsumption of alcohol can lead to weight gain (due to excess calories) and low blood sugars. Usually, your liver will release stored sugar into your blood to help correct a low blood sugar. When you have alcohol in your system, your liver's priority is to rid your body of the alcohol, thus you could have a more severe low blood sugar reaction. Aim for having a drink or two with a meal or a snack--this will reduce your risk of having a low blood sugar.

Part 2-Carb`s on a diet:

Actually, neither! Having too few carbohydrates puts your body in starvation mode, lowering your metabolism and making it harder to lose weight. Having too many carbohydrates can cause weight gain because any extra glucose (the final form of carbohydrate) will turn into fat and be stored by the body. It's best to use a moderate level of carbohydrate along with adequate protein and heart healthy fats. For a man who wishes to lose weight, it is recommended to have 45-60 grams of carbohydrate per meal (women, 30-45 grams per meal).

What is nice about carb counting is that any food can be incorporated into a meal plan. For example, you could have: 1 ½ c of cold cereal (30g), 1c milk (15g) and ½ banana (15g) for breakfast; a sandwich with 2 slices of bread (30g), a small handful of pretzels (15g), and a small cookie (15g) for lunch; and a grilled chicken breast (0g), salad (0g), small dinner roll (15g), 2/3c rice (30g) and a small piece of fruit (15g) for dinner.

Looking at the total carbohydrate line on a food product's nutrition label will tell you how many grams of carbohydrate are in one serving of the food (the serving size is listed on the top of the label). It is wise to measure out your foods to be sure your portion sizes are accurate. Choose healthy foods such as whole grains, lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Everything in moderation!

For more information:

Go to the Diabetes health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE Connie A Gottfried, MPH, RD, LD, CDE
Formerly
Case Western Reserve University