Type 2 diabetes affects an estimated 23 million Americans, almost 8 percent of the population, and 6 million of those people don't even know they have diabetes. Strong evidence links sugary drinks to the development of type 2 diabetes. Research published by the Harvard School of Public Health has found that people "who said they had one or more servings a day of a sugar-sweetened soft drink or fruit punch were nearly twice as likely to have developed type 2 diabetes during the study than those who rarely had these beverages." There are better options than soda for type 2 diabetics to drink.
Water and Herbal Teas
The best beverages for someone with type 2 diabetes are water or herbal teas without any type of sweetener added. High blood sugar levels can make you thirsty, which is a sign that your body is trying flush out extra sugar. Excess glucose leaves your body in urine, so there is a constant cycle of drinking and urinating when blood sugars are elevated.
Young Coconut Kefir
Young coconut kefir, not to be confused with high calorie coconut milk, is a fermented beverage made from coconut water. Coconut water has less than 50 calories per cup, is nutrient dense, alkalizes your system, which counteracts the acidity of too much sugar in the blood, and has only 6 grams of sugar. Fermenting the coconut water adds probiotics for digestive health and can boost your immune system.
Green smoothies made with dark leafy green vegetables are low in calories, practically sugar free and packed with vitamins and minerals. Try spinach, kale, collards, bok choy, celery, beet greens or turnip greens. Blanching these vegetables first can bring out their natural sweetness. Don't add fruit, it has too much sugar, which will spike your blood glucose level.
If your blood sugar is under control and you don't have high blood pressure, one or two alcoholic beverages a week won't hurt you. Moderation is key, as alcohol turns to sugar very quickly in your body. A drink is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor. If you're going to have a mixed drink, make sure you choose a calorie-free mixer like club soda. Avoid tonic and juice.
Diet soda may be sugar free, but it is not recommended for anyone with type 2 diabetes. A study done at the University of Texas, Division of Epidemiology found that "consumption of diet soda at least daily was associated with significantly greater risks of select incident metabolic syndrome components and type 2 diabetes." People who consumed diet soda had a 67 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who did not.