Sipping a glass of wine is a common way to relax when out with friends or viewing a movie with your family. But you might wonder if having a post-dinner drink is alright. It’s understandable to be concerned that wine is high in sugar, and one should limit it if they have diabetes.
People with diabetes must be cautious about food and drinks, as the consequences can be severe. Diabetes can affect many organs and systems in the body, such as the heart, liver, kidneys, feet, eyes, and nerves.
If one of these organs or systems is damaged, it can lead to a domino effect that can cause further harm to other parts of the body. Therefore, one should take caution when deciding what to eat and drink.
Concerning wine and diabetes, it is vital to get answers to questions like Is it suitable for people with diabetes?
How will it affect blood sugar levels? What type of wine should I be drinking? Knowing the answers to these questions is critical before deciding to consume wine.
Wine – An Overview
Wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made from grapes. One can find different varieties of wine depending on the type of grape and the fermentation process.
For example, red wines are made from red or black grapes, and white wines use green grapes as their key ingredient. Additionally, some wines may have added flavours and preservatives.
Some experts believe that wine may have potential health benefits when consumed in moderation. Due to its antioxidant content. However, it is vital to note that any form of alcohol can be detrimental to your health. Hence, it is best to limit consumption.
Read on to find the effect of wine on blood sugar levels and whether or not it is suitable for people with diabetes.
Wine for Diabetes – Can Diabetic Patients Consume it?
If you have diabetes and are wondering if you should drink wine, do consider its sugar content first. Wine is made mainly from grapes and yeast, which interact during fermentation. Research shows that the yeast breaks down the sugar from the grapes and converts it into alcohol.
Red and white wines typically contain less than 1.5g of sugar per 5oz (150ml) serving, making them a better option than other wines for those with diabetes. However, wine coolers and flavoured wines are usually sweeter and have more sugar and calories than other wines. Despite this, the amount of sugar in wine may not likely affect a person’s daily sugar intake.
Sweet dessert wines have about double the calories of red or white wines. Therefore, it may lead one to believe there is no need to worry about blood sugar when drinking wine. However, even if drinking wine may not cause a significant spike in blood sugar, it can still put you at risk of hypoglycemia.
That is because the liver prioritises the metabolism of alcohol over the production and excretion of glucose. As a result, your body has a reduced ability to regulate glucose levels after drinking, leaving you more susceptible to low blood sugar.
When you consume too much alcohol, your liver precedes blood sugar. It means that the liver stops releasing glucose as effectively, resulting in low blood sugar levels. It takes the liver approximately 1-1.5 hours to process the alcohol in one drink. So, until the alcohol metabolises, the risk of low blood sugar remains.
According to one study, moderate wine drinking (1-2 glasses per day) may benefit human health and prevention of disease. However, moderation is the key, and excessive alcohol drinking can cause severe damage. Some examples are hypertension, cardiovascular issues, and blood sugar spikes.
Best Wine for Diabetics to Drink?
One way to reduce sugar consumption is to consume low-calorie, low-sugar red and white wines. Hence, it is vital to be mindful of the kind of wine one consumes.
Red wine is an alcoholic beverage made from dark-coloured grapes. Its hue can be anywhere from bright violet to brick red to brown, depending on the grape variety, the age of the wine, and how long it was left to ferment.
Red wine is particularly beneficial to health due to its high antioxidant levels, especially resveratrol. Additionally, studies have shown that moderate and controlled consumption of red wine can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes for people with the condition and those without it.
A research study discovered that moderate wine consumption could improve heart disease indicators. In addition, it can diminish the chances of complications associated with diabetes.
One such example is retinopathy, which causes the weakening of blood vessels in the eyes. Nevertheless, it is imperative to be mindful of the amount consumed, as consuming it in reasonable amounts can lead to considerable health advantages.
White wine is a fermented beverage made from the alcoholic fermentation of non-coloured grape pulp without any contact with the skin. Its appearance can range from a straw-yellow to yellow-green or yellow-gold hue.
Despite its high sugar content, it is not necessarily sweeter than red wines, as their carbohydrate content can be very similar.
If you’re looking to reduce your carb intake, dry and brut Champagnes might be a good choice among white wines. However, remember to drink them in moderation and with other healthy foods. Only then can they be less harmful to people with diabetes.
The HealthifyMe Note
Drinking wine, especially red wine, in moderation may lead to some health benefits for those with diabetes. Moreover, it will cause less harm than other alcoholic beverages. It is likely due to the antioxidant resveratrol in red wine. People with diabetes can occasionally consume moderate amounts of wine. It is because the drink is relatively low in sugar and does not significantly raise blood sugar levels.
The Health Benefits of a Glass of Wine
A controversial topic, no doubt, however, some research studies suggest that consuming wine in moderation (especially red wine) can bring many health benefits to the general public. Here are some advantages of drinking wine:
Boosts ‘Good’ Cholesterol
One study found that consuming one to two mini drinks daily can raise HDL cholesterol levels by approximately 12%. HDL cholesterol, also known as “good” cholesterol, helps to flush out bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thus decreasing the amount of blockage in the arteries.
Lower the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke
A study has suggested that consuming light to moderate amounts of red wine can reduce the risk of ischemic stroke and help prevent further strokes.
Research has also found that drinking red wine may benefit heart health. It is because procyanidins found in red wine can help keep blood vessels healthy. In addition, it may even lower blood pressure, decreasing the risk of a heart attack.
Improves Gut Health
Researchers believe that the favourable microbial mix related to gut health is due to the high polyphenol content of red wine.
Wine fermentation can increase this mix of microbes, thus protecting gut flora and promoting overall wellness. Diversified gut flora is an indication of good gut health.
Reduces Anxiety and Stress
Studies have found that resveratrol, a plant-based molecule, can be beneficial in reducing symptoms of anxiety and sadness. Resveratrol suppresses the disruptions caused by an enzyme that affects the brain. It is a practical, drug-free solution for depression or anxiety. Wine, which is high in resveratrol, can help to reduce tension and relax the mind.
Healthy Tips for Drinking Wine
Can you keep your drinking habits under control? You certainly can. Here are some suggestions:
- Consuming five ounces (150ml) of red wine can provide health benefits. However, more than one or two glasses can raise blood sugar, negating those benefits.
- To get the most out of your wine, drink it with a nutritious, well-balanced dinner rather than on an empty stomach. Drinking on an empty stomach can further reduce glucose levels.
- White wine does not appear to offer the same health benefits as red wine, likely due to reduced polyphenol levels.
- Avoid beer and wine, as they can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Alcohol’s effects on glucose levels can persist for several hours after your last sip. So monitor your glucose levels over time to assess how a glass of red wine may affect you.
- Only drink alcohol if your glucose levels are under control.
The HealthifyPro 2.0, with its CGM continuous glucose monitor, is a far superior method of blood sugar measurement than traditional techniques. This technology and equipment give you a better insight into how your body responds to glucose levels. Thanks to advancements in AI and technology, excellent health is easier to attain than ever before.
Patients with diabetes who choose to drink wine can potentially benefit from improved heart, brain, and gut health. However, moderation is vital, and they should be mindful of their wine’s sugar and carbohydrate content. Additionally, timing alcohol consumption with food should be considered, especially for those taking diabetes medication.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What kind of wine can a diabetic drink?
A. Those with diabetes should opt for wines with a low sugar or carbohydrate content for the best health benefits. Of all wine varieties, red wine may provide some health advantages due to its high concentration of antioxidants. It applies to both people with diabetes and the general population.
Q. What wine lowers blood sugar?
A. Red wine can potentially lower blood sugar levels. However, the effects of consuming any alcoholic beverage, such as red wine, can cause a decrease in blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours. Therefore, you must monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after consuming alcoholic beverages.
Q. Can you drink red wine if you have diabetes?
A. Consuming a glass of red wine with dinner may be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes, as it may help reduce glucose levels and the body’s need for insulin. That is because the liver must first process the alcohol, leaving less energy for glucose production.
Q. Can you drink wine if you’re type 2 diabetic?
A. Consuming wine in moderation, on occasions, does not affect blood glucose levels that drastically for those with diabetes. Therefore, diabetics can enjoy wine in moderation.
Q. Does wine cause blood sugar to rise?
A. Heavy drinkers are especially susceptible to high blood sugar levels due to alcohol’s impact on insulin efficiency. Over time, this can lead to poor regulation of blood sugar. Even light drinkers may experience raised blood sugar levels after drinking alcohol.
The Supporting Reference
1. Jordão, António & Vilela, Alice & Cosme, F.. (2015). From Sugar of Grape to Alcohol of Wine: Sensorial Impact of Alcohol in Wine. Beverages. 1. 292-310. 10.3390/beverages1040292.
2. Pavlidou E, Mantzorou M, Fasoulas A, Tryfonos C, Petridis D, Giaginis C. Wine: An Aspiring Agent in Promoting Longevity and Preventing Chronic Diseases. Diseases. 2018 Aug 8;6(3):73. doi: 10.3390/diseases6030073. PMID: 30096779; PMCID: PMC6165230.
3. Nanjan MJ, Betz J. Resveratrol for the Management of Diabetes and its Downstream Pathologies. Eur Endocrinol. 2014 Feb;10(1):31-35. doi: 10.17925/EE.2014.10.01.31. Epub 2014 Feb 28. PMID: 29872461; PMCID: PMC5983094.
4. Gepner Y, Golan R, Harman-Boehm I, Henkin Y, Schwarzfuchs D, Shelef I, Durst R, Kovsan J, Bolotin A, Leitersdorf E, Shpitzen S, Balag S, Shemesh E, Witkow S, Tangi-Rosental O, Chassidim Y, Liberty IF, Sarusi B, Ben-Avraham S, Helander A, Ceglarek U, Stumvoll M, Blüher M, Thiery J, Rudich A, Stampfer MJ, Shai I. Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015 Oct 20;163(8):569-79. doi: 10.7326/M14-1650. Epub 2015 Oct 13. PMID: 26458258.
5. Snopek L, Mlcek J, Sochorova L, Baron M, Hlavacova I, Jurikova T, Kizek R, Sedlackova E, Sochor J. Contribution of Red Wine Consumption to Human Health Protection. Molecules. 2018 Jul 11;23(7):1684. doi: 10.3390/molecules23071684. PMID: 29997312; PMCID: PMC6099584.
6. Saleem TS, Basha SD. Red wine: A drink to your heart. J Cardiovasc Dis Res. 2010 Oct;1(4):171-6. Doi: 10.4103/0975-3583.74259. PMID: 21264180; PMCID: PMC3023893.
7. Corder R, Mullen W, Khan NQ, Marks SC, Wood EG, Carrier MJ, Crozier A. Oenology: red wine procyanidins and vascular health. Nature. 2006 Nov 30;444(7119):566. Doi: 10.1038/444566a. PMID: 17136085.
8. Le Roy CI, Wells PM, Si J, Raes J, Bell JT, Spector TD. Red Wine Consumption Associated With Increased Gut Microbiota α-Diversity in 3 Independent Cohorts. Gastroenterology. 2020 Jan;158(1):270-272.e2. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.08.024. Epub 2019 Aug 28. PMID: 31472153.
9. Ge JF, Xu YY, Qin G, Cheng JQ, Chen FH. Resveratrol Ameliorates the Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behavior of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Rat: Possible Involvement of the HPT Axis, HPA Axis, and Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2016 May 24;7:44. doi: 10.3389/fendo.2016.00044. PMID: 27252679; PMCID: PMC4877500.
10. Farchi G, Fidanza F, Giampaoli S, Mariotti S, Menotti A. Alcohol and survival in the Italian rural cohorts of the Seven Countries Study. Int J Epidemiol. 2000 Aug;29(4):667-71. doi: 10.1093/ije/29.4.667. PMID: 10922343.