Everyone is by now aware of the potential dangers of consuming alcohol. But, can a glass of wine everynight at dinner lead to improved health, especially for someone with diabetes? Researchers at Ben-Gurion University say that the answer to this question is yes, but only if strict guidelines are followed while consuming that alcohol.
The researchers recommend that female diabetics drink no more than 5 ounces of red wine every day. Males, due to their larger size, are allowed twice that amount. The wine has several beneficial properties. It works to raise HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) rates, as well as lowering blood pressure. Wine also tend to help provide a restful sleep after bedtime.
However, there are also potential dangers diabetics wanting to add wine to their diets need to know about. Alcohol often works to lower blood sugar. Diabetics, whose blood sugar often fluctuates widely, could place themselves in danger of becoming hypoglycemic should they consume too much wine at a time when their blood sugar is already low. Those who control their diabetes only with exercise and diet, not medication, should also be wary of allowing their blood sugar to fall too low due to alcohol consumption.
The American Diabetes Association gives the following recommendation for anyone choosing to manage their diabetes with alcohol.
Alcohol is a carbohydrate. It is important to not replace other food types with alcohol. If you are concerned about maintaining a low caloric intake, be sure to replace the calories from another carbohydrate with the wine. Be sure to drink slowly. Get in the habit of taking small sips.
In order to avoid the danger of hypoglycemia, never drink on an empty stomach. Having a glass of wine at dinner is preferable to sipping a glass late at night without food.
When you leave the house, always wear an I.D. bracelet stating you are a diabetic. The symptoms of hypoglycemia can mimic alcohol intoxication, leaving you at risk of being misdiagnosed should a medical emergency arise.