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From North Carolina, USA:

I was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and have begun the new diet, but the one thing I really miss is an occasional beer (or two or three) that I used to have with lunch or dinner, and I have read how to safely have a drink every now and then. When I first began to check my blood sugar levels I was still drinking about two beers on average per night, and my sugar levels seemed a little better in control then than now. As a matter of fact, while I was still moderately drinking, my endocrinologist changed my diagnosis to glucose intolerance and possible insulin resistance instead of type 2 diabetes. Since I quit drinking completely, my blood sugars are starting to creep back up again.

I did a search on the Internet and found several articles on studies that were done on males and moderate alcohol consumption. The articles claimed that men who drank moderately (less than three drinks on average per day) were much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. It also claimed that those who drank more than three (or none at all) were more likely to get type 2. I asked a doctor friend of mine and he said it was not true, and he had never heard of the research. Is there any truth to the studies I've read? How moderately can I drink if I keep my blood sugars in check?


It is true that recently various articles from scientific literature aimed at studying the metabolic effects of alcohol consumption have claimed that red wine in moderate amounts (not more than 1/4 liter a day) while eating reduce your cardiovascular risk (the so-called "French paradox" -- the low risk of the French for cardiovascular diseases despite their high intake of saturated fats might be due to their Bordeaux intake) through its antioxidant activity besides the general effect of moderate amount of alcohol on cholesterol sub-fractions such as HDL.

Spirits and other alcoholic drinks, such as beer, increase your blood lipids, and your caloric intake and seem to not have any protective effect on cardiovascular risk nor blood lipids subfractions. I am not aware of any positive effect, if any, of beer on blood sugar.


Original posting 13 Aug 2001
Posted to Meal Planning, Food and Diet


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:24
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