Cranberry juice and 4 other drinks that could fight diabetes

There are many drinks which benefit people with diabetes, such as water, milk and diet soft drinks, as they are low in sugar.

Earlier this month, cranberry juice made the news for its preventative prowess against type 2 diabetes, and there are other drinks that help tackle diabetes.

We’ve assessed which drinks could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes developing, as well as the ones that can aid the management of people with the condition.

Cranberry juice

The United States Department of Agriculture reported that two glasses of cranberry juice per day could reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

This is due to the polyphenols contained in cranberries which protect cells from damage and disease.

Participants who did this had consistently improved blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Those at risk of type 2 can therefore reduce their risk, while people with type 2 can decrease their likelihood of developing heart disease.

However, drinking low-calorie cranberry juice is important as a typical glass is quite high in calories.

Coffee

Those aforementioned polyphenols are also found in coffee, but how much coffee one should consume has been long debated, leading to mixed findings.

Earlier this year, American dietary guidelines found multiple cups of decaffeinated coffee reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s. A 2014 Swiss study, meanwhile, observed that drinking three to four daily cups each day could reduce one’s type 2 risk by 25 per cent.

However, regular high caffeine consumption impaired insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a 2011 study.

While caffeine may affect insulin sensitivity, other properties have a beneficial effect, which is why drinking decaffeinated coffee that is low in calories could be best for people with diabetes.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is unlikely to be at the top of anyone’s shopping list, but the drink is gaining a favourable reputation. This is because vinegar reportedly has an array of benefits for people with diabetes.

Improving postprandial insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes is one of them, while a bedtime tipple among type 2s could also improve waking blood glucose levels.

It may not taste great, but splash a drop in with some water mixed with cucumber, lemon or lime and the flavour will change, hopefully favourably, depending on your palette.

Grapefruit juice

Last year, University of California researchers found grapefruit juice displayed glucose-lowering effects and increased insulin sensitivity in mice. It is now being investigated as an effective treatment for diabetes.

If you take cholesterol-lowering medication, though, grapefruit is not for you, as this interaction can exacerbate the risk of certain side effects.

Red wine

Alcohol and diabetes is a vast issue, but let’s focus just on red wine.

Red wine may be beneficial in controlling blood glucose levels and weight loss, while a 2015 study in Israel reported a glass of day could reduce cholesterol, protect the heart and improve blood glucose control.

Of course, moderation is essential, as drinking too much red wine can cause a build-up of fat around the liver.

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About the author

Jack Woodfield

Jack is Deputy Editor of Diabetes.co.uk and the award-winning Low Carb Program. He works hard, plays fair and sleeps whenever possible. He also has type 1 diabetes, doesn't mind being called a "diabetic", and once won a talent show for dancing to Dario G’s 1997 hit “Sunchyme”.

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