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Drinks in diet

In addition to the liquid in food, an adult requires approximately 1–1.5 L of liquid in a day. The choice of drinks affects both blood sugar and overall health.

As a rule, a person with diabetes should consume no more than 1 glass of a beverage containing carbohydrates (such as milk, buttermilk, a soft drink sweetened with sugar, mineral water or a well-being drink containing sugar) per meal or snack. The sugar in the drink is quickly absorbed and it increases the post-meal blood sugar level.

The best drink to quench a thirst is water. You can use bottled water or mineral water as long as it has a low sodium content and does not contain sugar and/or acids that are harmful for teeth. Carbon dioxide is not bad for you. Nearly all other acids are harmful, especially citric acid (listed in the ingredients either by its name or as E330).

Fat-free or low-fat (maximum 1% of fat) milk or buttermilk is a good drink to have with a meal. To satisfy your daily need for calcium, you should consume 5–6 dl of liquid dairy products or soy, oat or rice drinks with added calcium plus 2–3 slices of cheese. You can replace cheese with a liquid dairy product or drink with added calcium, in which case the recommended total amount is approximately 7 dl per day.

It is not recommended to add sugar to tea or coffee. If you drink milk, you should look at fat-free or low-fat options. The best choice for daily use is filter coffee. Coffee made in a pot and other unfiltered coffees contain diterpenes, which increase the cholesterol level of serum. When it comes to special coffee or tea, remember to take into account their other ingredients: sugar, the quality of milk, and cream. It is recommended to drink more than three cups of coffee a day while pregnant.

Whole juices and nectars can be consumed up to 1–2 decilitres per day with meals. It is not a thirst quencher, nor does it replace fruit. Juice sweetened with sugar is not recommended for daily consumption. A 100% fruit juice without added sugar contains as much sugar as a soft drink sweetened with sugar.

When it comes to soft drinks and juices, it is recommendable to go for the sugar-free options. They do not contain energy or affect your blood sugar. Artificial sweeteners are safe to use in moderation. In normal amounts, their intake is not excessive. For example, an adult weighing 60 kg can safely consume 4 litres of soft drinks sweetened with aspartame or 3 litres of soft drinks sweetened with steviol glycoside in a day. That said, it is better to keep their consumption at a moderate level because most of them contain acids that are bad for the teeth.

Energy drinks, sports drinks and well-being drinks are not that dissimilar to soft drinks. Energy drinks are not recommended during pregnancy. Sports drinks are only necessary for sports activities that last for 1–1.5 hours.

For adults, the recommended maximum daily amount of alcohol is 1 unit for women and 2 units for men. One unit equals 0.33 L of light beer, 12 cl of wine or 4 cl of strong alcohol, for example. However, daily consumption is not recommended, and women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid all alcohol. Alcohol use must be taken into account in insulin therapy and eating.

    Updated 30.9.2023