Beer for Diabetes – Can Diabetics Drink Beer?

Beer for Diabetes – Can Diabetics Drink Beer? Blog – HealthifyMe Blog – HealthifyMe – The definitive guide to weight loss, exercise, and living a healthier life.

Beer is a cult. There are beer drinkers who prefer it over other drinks. The internet is flooded with quotes like “the heavier you are, the harder it is to get kidnapped, stay safe, drink beer”. But drinking beer has some serious health effects.

Beer can cause fluctuations in sugar levels. Since beer contains sugar in the form of maltose or maltodextrin, it raises blood sugar levels. People need to be mindful of what they consume.

People with diabetes need to be extremely careful. It is often overlooked that alcohol has calories. The risk of high blood sugar increases with the amount of carbohydrates present in alcohol.

If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation and only if your blood sugar and diabetes are under control. Also, one glass of wine should be considered twice as fat if you’re on a calorie-restricted diet.

Beer is an alcoholic beverage that is widely consumed year-round, but summer seems to be its peak season. However, a chilled beer will be hard to resist if you’re traveling with friends. So before you smash the bottle, here’s what the experts want you to know.

Understanding Beer – More than just a party drink

One of the oldest and most famous alcoholic beverages in the world is beer. About 5,000 years ago, the Middle East was most likely where the first barley beer was made.

It is made by brewing and fermenting starches mainly derived from grains, usually malted barley. However, other variations include wheat, corn (maize), rice, and oats. Beer undergoes the brewing process by fermenting starch sugars in the wort, producing ethanol and carbonation.

Most modern beers are brewed with hops, which add bitterness and other flavors. It also acts as a natural preservative and stabilizer.

Hops can be substituted with or added to other flavorings such as powders, herbs, or fruits. The natural carbonization effect is often removed during processing and replaced by forced carbonization in commercial brewing.

What are the different types of beer?

Beer has more than 100 different varieties. But to clarify, beer can be ale or light liquor.

Lager is fermented with bottom fermenters at temperatures between 35°F and 50°F. In contrast, beer is fermented by fermenting yeast at temperatures between 60°F and 70°F.

Among several beers are Indian Pale ale (IPA), Imperial IPA, Dark ale, New England-style IPA and Gose, a wheat beer. Lagers include USA, Mexico, Vienna, Pilsners and Helles.

Light beer is brewed in the same way as regular beer but with fewer calories and less alcohol than regular beer. In addition, non-alcoholic beer has about 50% fewer calories than standard beer.

Effects of alcohol on diabetics

An average can of beer contains 150 calories. However, because beer has a low alcohol content, consumers often drink many glasses and close to 600-1000 calories.

Your body doesn’t get any protein, fat, minerals, or vitamins from these empty calories. Four cans equates to about 60 grams of carbohydrates because each can contains about 15 grams. Additionally, studies show that beer has a high GI, between 89 and 110.

Research indicates that alcohol enters the bloodstream after consumption and immediately reaches the brain. In addition, alcohol affects the liver and prevents the liver from making glucose. As a result, your blood sugar drops if you drink too much alcohol. Therefore, it can lead to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

People with diabetes must limit beer consumption to a minimum. It is best to abstain. If you choose it, pair it with a low-carb snack instead of eating it on an empty stomach.

The best choice is light or low-calorie beer (15 g of carbs is in 12 ounces of beer, while light beer has only 3-6 g), as the sugar content in beer takes longer to remove.

Never combine carbonated drinks with alcohol to ensure that the least harm is done to the body. Drink mindfully and hydrate between drinks (beer is a diuretic that throws off electrolytes).

In extreme cases, increased sugar levels can lead to high blood pressure, partial paralysis, or cardiac arrest. Diabetes medications such as metformin and insulin can interact badly with alcohol; These medications lower blood sugar, and alcohol use can lower blood sugar even more.

HealthifyMe Note:

“Is beer good for diabetics?” or “Is beer bad for diabetics?” is one of the most frequently asked questions. Drinking alcohol can raise or lower your blood sugar if you have diabetes. Also, a lot of calories are in alcohol. Therefore, a person with diabetes should ideally avoid alcohol.

How much alcohol is in beer?

The alcohol content of beer can vary considerably. Regular beer, for example, typically has 5% alcohol but can contain up to 10%. Although it has fewer calories and less alcohol than regular beer, light beer still has about 4% alcohol.

For example, distilled spirits like gin, rum, and vodka have about 40% alcohol, while wine typically contains about 12% alcohol. While some brands of non-alcoholic beer contain 0% alcohol, others include 0.5%.

Alcohol for Diabetics – Do’s and Don’ts

Diabetics who drink alcohol should adhere to the following rules:

  1. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
  2. For men, Never drink more than two glasses of alcohol a day. For women, do not consume more than one. The recommended amount of beer is less than 341ml (12oz) per day.
  3. Drink slowly.
  4. Avoid combining it with “carbonated drinks” or “sugar-sweetened” mixed drinks.
  5. Mix alcohol with water, club soda, or diet soda.

Consult your dietitian about whether drinking alcohol is safe for you. Remember that alcohol can also affect how some medications work.

Talking to your healthcare professional about your nutrition is always a good idea. If you have diabetes, you must control your blood sugar.

If you need a technologically advanced solution for your diabetes that measures your blood sugar every minute, counts calories and provides real-time personal coaching, then HealthifyPro is the solution.


Most people with diabetes must follow a healthy lifestyle. However, one can consume alcohol in absolute moderation, including beer. Avoid drinking beer on an empty stomach, especially if you take insulin or a diabetes medication such as a sulfonylurea.

According to studies, it may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Furthermore, when drinking beer, check your blood sugar regularly as alcohol can cause low blood sugar that lasts up to 24 hours after you stop drinking.

Beer contains calories, so it’s better to limit your intake if you have diabetes. A person needs to manage his weight to lead a healthy life. Always choose a light beer to cut calories.

Beer belly is the result of consuming too many calories from food or alcohol, which leads to other health problems like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What happens if a diabetic drinks beer?

A. Research shows that drinking beer can raise blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes. When you have Type 1 diabetes, drinking too much alcohol can lower blood sugar, sometimes to dangerously low levels. dangerous.

Q. Does beer raise blood sugar?

A. The starch in beer raises blood sugar. Alcohol increases appetite, which can lead to overeating. As a result, it can affect your ability to control blood sugar. In addition, the carbohydrate content in beer makes it relatively quickly absorbed into the body. It can lead to higher blood sugar levels. Immediately after drinking alcohol, an increase in blood sugar is observed.

Q. Can type 2 diabetics drink beer?

A. Type 2 diabetics can drink beer in moderation (341ml/12oz). However, the high calorie content of alcoholic beverages also affects your weight, so you’re better off consuming it only once per month or once every 15 days.

Q. When I drink beer, my blood pressure goes down.

A. The amount of calcium bound to the blood vessels increases with alcohol consumption. As a result, the blood vessels narrow because they are more sensitive to the substance produced. Therefore, drinking alcohol lowers blood pressure (up to 12 hours after drinking) and increases blood pressure afterward. Within 24 hours of drinking, alcohol will definitely increase your heart rate.

Q. Does beer lower blood sugar?

A. Drinking alcohol increases insulin release, resulting in low blood sugar. This leads to fatigue, lightheadedness, and some of the long-term health problems associated with alcohol. When alcohol is broken down in the liver, substances are produced. These compounds prevent the liver from producing fresh glucose. As a result, your blood sugar drops and can drop to dangerously low levels.

Support sources

1. Sluik D, Atkinson FS, Brand-Miller JC, Fogelholm M, Raben A, Feskens EJ. Contributors to dietary glycemic index and glycemic load in the Netherlands: the role of beer. Mr. J Nutr. 2016 April 14;115(7):1218-25. doi: 10.1017/S0007114516000052. Epub 2016 Feb 9 PMID: 26857156.

2 Emanuele NV, Swade TF, Emanuele MA. Consequences of alcohol use in diabetics. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):211-9. PMID: 15706798; PMCID: PMC6761899.

3. van de Wiel A. Diabetes and alcohol. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2004 Jul-August;20(4):263-7. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.492. PMID: 15250029.

4. Jee YH, Lee SJ, Jung KJ, Jee SH (2016) Alcohol intake and serum glucose levels from the point of view of the Mendelian randomization design: KCPS-II Biobank. PLEASE NUMBER 11(9): e0162930.

5. Meet the DR, Cavan DA. Alcohol intake and glycemic control in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Med. April 1997;14(4):279-83. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1096-9136(199704)14:4<279::AID-DIA327>3.0.CO;2-S. PMID: 9113480.

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