According to a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, women with type 2 diabetes who drank relatively small amounts of alcohol had a lower heart-disease risk than those who abstained. A second study found that men with diabetes had the same reduction in heart risk with a moderate alcohol intake as non-diabetic men.
- Mixing alcoholic drinks with water or calorie-free diet sodas instead of sugary (and calorie- and carbohydrate-laden) sodas and other mixers.
- Once you have had your drink, switch to a non-alcoholic drink, such as sparkling water, for the rest of the evening.
- Make sure you have an eating strategy and plan in place to avoid overeating and overdrinking in social situations. Alcohol can make you more relaxed, and may lead you to make poor food or drinking decisions.
- Don't drink on an empty stomach because alcohol can have a very rapid blood glucose lowering effect, which is slowed if there is food in your stomach.
- If you're going to have a drink, wear your diabetes identification bracelet or necklace.
"If you become hypoglycemic and there is alcohol on your breath, police or paramedics may mistake your condition for being drunk and may not get the care you need," says Roszler.
Some people with diabetes, though, should not consume alcoholic beverages.
If you do choose to drink, there are no specific recommendations for one type of alcoholic beverage as better than another. However, the American Diabetes Association notes that light beer and dry wines tend to have less alcohol, carbohydrates, and calories.