A Drink a Day Helps Diabetics

In All Health Watch, Diabetes, Featured Article, Heart and Cardiovascular

The number of Americans dying from diabetes is skyrocketing. Diabetes deaths in the U.S. have increased 71% since 1990.[1] 

You might be surprised to learn that high blood sugar is not what typically kills diabetics.

Heart attacks take the lives of about 60% of people with diabetes. Strokes kill another 25%.[2]

That’s why a new study is so important.

It found that there’s one simple, even pleasurable, thing diabetics can do to lower their heart-attack risk.

The analysis was presented at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.[3]

The researchers found that light to moderate drinking “might protect against type 2 diabetes.” They defined this amount as about 1 ½ beers, a large glass of wine, or one large shot of grain alcohol (whiskey, bourbon, vodka, gin) per day.

A drink a day lowered type 2 diabetes patients’ triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are linked to heart disease and stroke.

Alcohol also reduced their insulin resistance and lowered their insulin levels.

A note of caution comes from diabetes expert Dr. Joel Zonszein. He said that “a little alcohol can be good” for most type 2 diabetics. But he warned that type 1 diabetics should be more cautious. So should type 2 diabetics who take insulin or blood sugar-lowering drugs other than metformin. They should talk to their doctor before increasing their alcohol intake.[4]

The Most Beneficial Kind of Alcohol

Many people wonder if one kind of alcoholic drink is healthier than others.

Red wine is a good choice. Most of its benefits come from phenol compounds called procyanidins. They are linked to better heart health, lower stroke and cancer risk, and contribute to longevity.

The red wine highest in procyanidins is Madiran. It’s made in the southwest of France, primarily from the tannat grape. Madiran (not to be confused with Madeira, a usually sweet wine) is dry and robust.

Most big wine shops carry it. If you can’t find it, go for cabernet sauvignon. It is also high in procyanidins.

If you have type 2 diabetes, enjoy a daily drink to help lower your chances of heart problems.

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