American Diabetes Association Diabetes Alert Day® is on March 24, 2020. This day focuses on ‘alerting’ everyone about the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and the importance of understanding your risk. The sooner you know you are at risk, the sooner you can take steps to prevent or manage diabetes. One step that you can take for diabetes prevention is to "rethink your drink"!
Most of us never really think about our liquid carbohydrates (carbs) and calories, but what we drink - and how much of it - can make a difference in our carb and calorie intake each day. It is important to watch your carbohydrate intake because carbs have the greatest effect on blood sugar, and your body breaks down carbs into sugar. You can have a large impact on lowering your blood sugar by watching what you drink and making some simple changes.
Here are some examples of simple changes that you can make in your daily routine:
- Skip the 16 oz sweetened ice tea from a vending machine, and choose water instead. This simple change can save you carbs and 180 calories!
- Modify the size of your drink by choosing a smaller serving. For example, a 20 oz bottle of regular cola can contain around 65 grams of carbs compared to a 7.5 oz can which usually contains around 24 grams. It's hard to believe that the carbohydrates in one 20 oz bottle of cola can contain the equivalent of one meal’s serving of carbohydrates!
Drinking water provides many benefits to our health. Not only does water help us take in fewer calories, but it also prevents dehydration, protects sensitive tissues, increases feelings of fullness, and helps every part of the body work properly. Water is also caffeine free, calorie free, and easily available.
Alcoholic drinks, similar to sodas, provide empty calories that most of us don’t think about when considering our total daily calorie intake. Drinking alcohol can also contribute to low blood sugars, so when you drink -make sure to eat. If you choose to drink alcohol, be sure to follow the dietary guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control for alcohol consumption: 1 drink a day for women, 2 drinks a day for men. (1 drink = 5 oz dry wine, 1.5 oz distilled spirits, 12 oz of lite beer)
So slam dunk that sugary drink into the waste basket - and rethink your drink by picking up a bottle of water instead!