If you are a diabetic, then you know that it is important to watch what you eat and drink. Some alcoholic beverages can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels, but there are some beers that are safe for diabetics to drink. In this article, we will discuss the best beer for diabetics and how alcohol affects blood sugar levels. We will also answer some common questions about diabetes and alcohol.

So whether you are looking for information on the best beer brands for diabetics or just want to learn more about alcohol and diabetes, you have come to the right place!

Is Beer Safe for Diabetics?

If you're diabetic, you may be wondering if you can still enjoy a cold one with your friends. The answer is yes - but you need to drink smart! Yes, most beers are safe for diabetics to drink. However, it is important to monitor blood sugar levels when drinking any type of alcohol.

There are a few things that diabetics need to keep in mind when it comes to alcohol.

1. Be Mindful of The Alcohol By Volume (ABV) Percentage

When drinking beer it's important to pay attention to the ABV percentage. The higher the ABV percentage, the higher the alcohol content is in your beer. It's best to avoid drinking beers with a high ABV percentage because they can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Most beers have an ABV of about 2 to 12 percent.

2. Check The Total Carbohydrates

Secondly, not all beers are created equal. Some beers have more carbs and calories than others, so it is important to choose a beer that is safe for diabetics and watch the carb content and your carb intake.

A regular blond beer or lager typically has around 4 to 6 percent ABV and typically has 4 to 6 grams of carbohydrates. The higher the ABV the higher the carbs. Beers with a high ABV are best to avoid because they can cause blood sugar levels to rise or drop.

In general, light beer, low carb beers, and lagers have fewer calories and carbohydrates than stouts or dark ales like Guinness Extra Stout which has around 12 grams of carbs per pint. Some beers even contain 20 to 30 grams of carbs.

However, there are some options for diabetics who still want an ice-cold craft brew on occasion: many popular breweries now offer low-carb alternatives.

3. Keep An Eye On The Serving Size

The general rule of thumb is to never drink more than one serving size of alcohol at a time - and that includes beer. One serving size is typically considered to be 12 ounces or about 350 milliliters. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 1 server for women per day and 2 servings (two drinks) for men per day.

But remember, it's always best to consult with your doctor or nutritionist to see what is best for you! No one is built the same and therefore no one will have the same alcohol tolerance.

4. Being Drunk vs. Low Blood Glucose Levels

Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to rise or fall fast, so it is important to monitor how drinking affects your blood sugar levels, depending on the drink and whether you have eaten recently.

It's important that the company you go out with and drink alcohol with knows what to do in case of an emergency. If you consume too much alcohol, you may experience a low blood sugar level and become disoriented or even unconscious. There is also a difference between being drunk and having low blood glucose levels, even though the symptoms might seem similar at that moment.

This is why it's best not to drink alone! It's best if your friends know how to treat someone who is suffering from hypoglycemia by giving them glucose tablets or sugary drinks until they can seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

The best way for people with diabetes to monitor their own blood sugar levels while drinking beer (or any other alcoholic beverage) is through continuous glucose monitoring.

5. Try To Eat When You Consume Alcohol

Drinking alcohol is best combined with eating and not on an empty stomach. Eating a meal before or while you are drinking can help slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream and minimize blood sugar spikes and big drops after drinking.

Foods that are high in protein and fat are best to eat when drinking because they will help absorb the alcohol. Carbohydrates, like bread or pasta, are also good to consume with alcohol but be careful not to overdo it!

6. Check Your Blood Sugar Levels More Frequently

And last but not least, always check your blood sugar levels more frequently when drinking alcohol. Your healthcare provider can best advise you on how often to test your blood glucose levels while drinking alcohol and adjust the dose of insulin you take if needed.

The best way for people with diabetes to monitor their own blood sugar levels while drinking beer (or any other alcoholic beverage) is through continuous glucose monitoring. This means that a small sensor is placed under the skin of diabetics, which transmits information about their glucose level in real-time to a smartwatch or your smartphone.

Your blood sugar should be between 5.5 and 7.8 mmol/L (100 and 140 mg/dL) before going to bed. If you read a lower result on your blood glucose meter eat something with carbs, make sure you lower your insulin injection or lower your insulin pump basal rate for the night. If you don't take action you could reach dangerously low blood sugar levels during the night.

Which Is The Best Beer for Diabetics?

Beers come in various styles and flavors and whether you like lagers, Saisons, or IPAs, there's a low-carb beer for you. I compiled a list of my best lagers for diabetics that are delicious but also ideal for people with diabetes that like to grab a cold one.

9425 12482889425
  • Carbohydrates: 3.2 grams
  • ABV: 4.17%
  • Miller Lite

    4.7/5 stars and 256 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
    • ABV: 4.2%
    Coors Light

    4.7/5 stars and 287 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
    • ABV: 4.2%
    Bud Light

    4.7/5 stars and 373 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 3.2 grams
    • ABV: 4.1%
    Busch Light

    4.7/5 stars and 39 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
    • ABV: 4%
    Lagunitas Daytime IPA

    4.8/5 stars and 36 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 3 grams
    • ABV: 4%
    Shiner Ruby Redbird

    4.9/5 stars and 5 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 3.6 grams
    • ABV: 4%
    Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty Lo-Cal IPA

    4.7/5 stars and 18 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 5 grams
    • ABV: 3.5%
    Amstel Light

    4.7/5 stars and 21 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 4.8 grams
    • ABV: 6.1%
    Allagash Saison

    3.8/5 stars and 2 reviews

    • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
    • ABV: 4.4%

    Which Beer Has The Least Sugar?

    Low-carb beer or light beer is best for people with diabetes because they have fewer carbohydrates. When you drink beer, this means that the sugar will be absorbed into your bloodstream at a slower rate, preventing blood sugar levels from spiking.

    Some popular light beers include Budweiser Select 55, Michelob Ultra, Miller Lite, and Coors Light. All of these brands have less than five grams of carbohydrates per serving.

    There are also some craft beers that are higher in carbohydrates, but this doesn't mean you should avoid them altogether! Just try to stick to one serving size and monitor how drinking affects your blood sugar levels.

    A few popular high-carbohydrate beers include Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, Stone IPA, and New Belgium Fat Tire.

    All of these brands have between 12 and 16 grams of carbs per serving! But if you're a craft beer fan, there are many more options out there for you to try at home or in your local pub. 

    Is Low-Carb Beer Better for My Blood Glucose?

    Yes, low-carb beer contains less sugar than regular beer, and it's best for people with diabetes. This is because the sugar will be absorbed into your bloodstream at a slower rate, preventing blood sugar levels from spiking.

    A regular blond beer or lager typically has 4 to 6 grams of carbohydrates. The higher the ABV the higher the carbs.

    Light beer, low-carb beers, and lagers have fewer calories and carbohydrates.

    How Much Alcohol Is Recommended?

    How much alcohol is recommended depends on your blood sugar levels and how well you tolerate alcohol. If you have diabetes, it's best to stick to one serving (mostly one drink) size of beer or any other alcoholic beverage. With a recommendation of low-carb beer, lights beers, or a regular beer.

    If you're not sure how drinking will affect your blood sugar levels, always test your glucose before and after drinking. This is the best way to see how alcohol affects your individual body.

    Which Alcoholic Drinks To Avoid As A Diabetic?

    Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to rise or fall fast, so it is important to monitor how drinking affects your blood glucose levels depending on the drink and whether you have eaten recently.

    Besides some beers containing a lot of sugar, there are other alcoholic beverages that diabetics should avoid as well.

    Cocktails mixed with spirits or distilled spirits such as vodka, rum, whiskey, and tequila are high in alcohol content and have little nutritional value. Mixing these with soda, fruit juice, or tomato juice can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

    A margarita, a piña colada, or a daiquiri might contain 35–44 grams of carbs in one drink.

    Other drinks to avoid are sweet wines or dessert wines. Wine is best consumed when it's dry because they contain less sugar. However, if you do enjoy a glass of wine, try to stick to dry white wine or go for red wine.

    Conclusion

    If you are diabetic, drinking alcohol can be tricky. Alcohol has the potential to either raise or lower your blood sugar levels--sometimes at a rapid rate depending on what type of drink you consume and whether or not you have eaten recently.

    The best beer for diabetics is one that contains fewer carbs than others because it will help prevent spiking glucose levels after consumption.

    Plus, if you're concerned about how much alcohol might affect your blood sugar level, try sticking to just one serving size before checking with your healthcare provider about appropriate insulin doses.

    You should always take caution when drinking so as to avoid any accidents caused by low blood sugar levels while under the influence!

    About the Author

    Ely Fornoville

    Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

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