Tag Archives: Sugars

COCKTAILS AND TYPE 2 DIABETES

COCKTAILS AND TYPE 2 DIABETES
Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 24-11-2015

Getting through the holidays as a Type 2 diabetic can be challenging with all of the scrumptious food at your disposal. You’ve got to take extra caution in monitoring your blood sugar as you consider which foods you should and shouldn’t be eating. The situation becomes further complicated if you enjoy having a drink every now and again for, during the holiday season, nothing says celebration like making a few toasts to the family and the new year.

Cocktails Collection - CosmopolitanAs a diabetic, you should be aware of the “do’s and don’ts” of alcohol. Even if you only enjoy having a simple drink here or there, you should know how alcohol can affect you. In the end, there are some ways to enjoy an occasional cocktail, when mixed with care. As with food, every alcoholic mixed drink contains a different amount of calories, fat, and sugars, depending on the ingredients, so learning to craft a healthier recipe is an excellent way to enjoy without guilt or worry.

First of all, be aware of the effects alcohol can have on you. Drinking alcohol, even a few drinks, can increase not only your blood sugar but also your blood pressure. And in some cases, it can cause a rapid and drastic drop in blood sugar levels, which can also cause complications. Drinking alcohol can interfere with diabetes medicine, insulin, and other medications, and it can stimulate the appetite and lower your inhibitions.

With the above effects in mind, it is recommended you limit your alcohol consumption to one or two drinks a day for women and men, respectively. Enjoy your drink with a snack or a meal that follows your usual healthy eating guidelines, such as whole grain crackers, light popcorn, or low-fat cheese. And when crafting cocktails or mixed drinks, think outside of the soda and the juice-based mixers. Instead, opt for homemade mixers with fresh citrus (like lemon and lime juice), fruit-flavored spritzer water, and diet club soda.

Using a base of hand-squeezed lime or lemon juice, muddled herbs, such as mint, and a splash of sugar-free seltzer water, you can create some diabetic-friendly cocktails. You can even filter, dramatically reducing the alcohol and sugar content of wine by mixing it with equal parts of seltzer water over ice. Garnish with a slice or two of orange, and your healthy holiday mixer is complete.

As always, remember to keep your alcohol consumption to a well-balanced, moderate level, and don’t forget to check your blood sugar levels.

Glasses of cocktails on bar backgroundCitrus Wine Spritzer. This bubbly, refreshing spritzer contains relatively little alcohol and can be the perfect after work or social mixer. Makes four drinks…

Ingredients:
Ice
4 wedges lemon
4 wedges lime
1 cup white wine
1 cup citrus flavored seltzer water

Directions:
1. Fill four glasses halfway with ice. Squeeze 1 lemon and 1 lime wedge into each glass.
2. Pour ¼ cup wine and ¼ cup seltzer into each glass. Stir gently and serve.

Lite Mint Julep. The Kentucky Derby classic cocktail gets a makeover in this diabetic-friendly version. Makes four drinks…

Ingredients:
4 lemon wedges
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup bourbon or whiskey
1 cup diet club soda or plain seltzer water
Crushed ice

Directions:
1. Squeeze lemon wedges into a tall cocktail shaker; leave peels in the bottom of the shaker. Add mint leaves; crush gently into lemons. Add bourbon; shake gently.
2. Fill four cocktail glasses almost entirely with ice. Strain bourbon mixture into glasses; fill each glass with about ¼ cup club soda. Stir gently and serve.

 

Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva

 

A Diabetics Guide to Choosing Alternative Sweeteners and Sugars

A Diabetics Guide to Choosing Alternative Sweeteners and Sugars
Posted by Beverleigh H Piepers RN, Dated 18-2-2014

Many that condemn sugar for its negative effects on health seem to prefer to suggest in its place people consume an alternative sweetener. But the truth is alternative sweeteners can be just as bad for you as sugar, if not in some cases worse.

Do you know which alternative sweeteners are better for your health than sugar? If not, read on as I try to break it down to help you have an easier time when choosing.

The following is a list of common sugars and sweeteners, their glycemic index (GI) and other important factors to consider when choosing all types of the sweet stuff:

Maltodextrin – This sugar has a very high-GI rating of 150. Which means it is deadly for a diabetic.
Glucose / Dextrose – This type of sugar also has a considerably high-GI of 100, which is the same as white bread.
High Fructose Corn Syrup – This alternative sweetener has a GI of 87, and is more damaging to the body than even table sugar.
Corn Syrup – This alternative sweetener has a GI of 75, which means if table sugar has negative effects for a diabetic (see below), then corn syrup definitely will.
White / Refined Table Sugar – This sugar has a GI of 65, which is considered on the high end of the spectrum with the worst effects to blood sugar coming from foods in this range. Most table sugar comes from plantations that are Genetically Modified, and is often so refined there are hardly any nutrients left, and it can also cause mineral depletion.
Refined Honey – This type of honey has a high-GI of 75 due to how much processing it has been subjected to, which sadly makes it no better than sugar on blood sugar levels which is what matters at the end of the day.
Evaporated Cane Juice – Has a lower-GI than white sugar but it is still refined and lacking nutrients which is why we eat  food – not just for a sweet kick!

ORGANIC HONEY

ORGANIC HONEY

Raw Honey – This type of honey is completely different to the refined honey and unpasteruised and less processed types (such as Manuka), and can be as low as 50 on the GI charts. Plus they have most of their amazing nutrients intact.
Coconut Palm Sugar – With a GI of 35, this nutrient rich low-GI sweetener that is acquired from the flowers growing on coconut trees, makes a much better alternative to white sugar, even for baking.
Agave Nectar – Although it has a low-GI of 30 and the agave plant itself is full of health benefits, sadly due to the amount of processing the common store bought agave syrups have been subjected to, makes them not much better for your health than regular white table sugar. Use sparingly.
Xylitol – A sugar alcohol with a GI of 7 making this a much better option for keeping blood sugar levels stable –  but again please use it sparingly as most brands of Xylitol are GMO and it could cause an intestinal issue.
Stevia – Finally, we reach the cream of the crop in terms of alternative sweeteners, as Stevia has a GI of 0! This sweetener is also 200 to 300 times sweeter than white sugar so use it sparingly for this reason only!
Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Sucralose) – Whilst these too have a GI of 0, they are by no means good for your health, as all artificial sweeteners are toxic and have demonstrated causing weight gain and kidney stones.

I hope this guide has been informative and you feel much more informed when going shopping for sweeteners or sugars of any kind. Stevia and coconut sugar are the clear best choices for your blood sugar level and overall health.

Remember the key to working out what amount suits you is to pay attention to how you feel after consuming the different types of sweeteners on offer and to go sparingly with most types, as even if they are low on the GI scale and demonstrate the ability to be gentle on your blood sugar – they still may be doing damage to your health in other ways.

Beverleigh H Piepers RN
Type 2 Diabetes Health Coach

Follow me on… Facebook: DrugFreeType2Diabetes
Twitter: @diabetes2diva