How will alcohol affect you when you have diabetes?

“Alcohol can interfere with your meal plan and blood glucose control, especially if you’re taking insulin or medication for your diabetes,” says Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian, at the Department of Dietetics, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group.

If you must drink, limit yourself to:

  1. One drink or one unit of alcohol a day (for women)
  2. Two drinks or two units of alcohol a day (for men)

One unit of alcohol is defined as any drink that provides 10g of alcohol.

This translates to:

  • 100ml of wine,
  • 30ml of spirits or
  • 220ml of beer.

If you have nerve damage from diabetes or are still working on getting your blood glucose under control, you should abstain from alcohol.

It is important to note that alcohol consumption can increase your risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels). This is dangerous particularly when coupled with some diabetes medications. Consult your doctor or dietitian before ​consuming alcohol.

See previous page to learn how meal planning helps with weight loss in people with diabetes.

​See next page for inf​ormation on controlling blood glucose with exercise​.

Ref: O17