What is the best alcoholic drink for diabetics?

If I decide to drink, which drinks and how much of them can I have?

You have to learn which drinks contain sugar, which are high in carbohydrates, and how many calories they all contain. Whatever you drink has to be figured into your meal plan and the calories counted. Alcoholic drinks are usually calculated as fat exchanges, although you can also substitute them for bread exchanges. Naturally, you can't mix liquor with orange juice or tomato juice without counting those exchanges also. And you have to avoid such mixers as ginger ale, tonic, and other sweetened soft drinks.

The best alcoholic drinks that don't contain sugar or carbohydrates are dry white wines (including champagne), dry red and rose wines, white vermouth, whiskey, gin, vodka, scotch, rum, brandy, and tequila. A four ounce glass of wine is about 80 calories; a four ounce glass of vermouth is about 140 calories. The hard liquors are calculated according to their proof. The higher the proof, the more calories. As an example, 86 proof alcohol is 71 calories an ounce; 100 proof alcohol is 83 calories an ounce. Beer is 156 calories per twelve ounce bottle, but it also contains about the same amount of carbohydrate as a bread exchange (13 grams). Light beer is only 96 calories on the average and contains the equivalent of 1£ bread exchange in carbohydrate. Liqueurs and cordials have to be avoided entirely as they contain sugar sometimes as much as 50 percent sugar. Appetizer and dessert wines, like sweet sherry, port, and muscatel, are also too sweet for diabetics.

The general recommendation is to limit alcoholic beverages to 6 percent of your daily caloric allotment. For instance, if you're on a 1,500 calorie a day diet, you could have one four ounce glass of wine (80 calories) or one generous ounce of 86 proof liquor (71 calories) in soda or a sugarfree mixer. You could also have it in orange juice, if you counted that as one of your fruit exchanges. If you are on a 3,000- calorie a day diet, you could drink twice that much (but you wouldn't have to, of course).


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