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Alcohol in the Diabetic Diet

Food Fitness. Nourish your body.

Alcohol Beverage If you have diabetes and you decide that you want to have an occasional alcoholic drink, it is important that you talk with your doctor first to determine if it is safe for you to imbibe.

Alcohol in mixed drinks, wine, or beer can affect blood sugar levels differently, depending on whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the medications that you are taking, the level of your diabetes control, etc.

If you suffer from alcohol addiction, you should seek help from a reputable rehab center, such as the Maryland alcohol addiction rehab.

But, what about cooking with alcohol?

This seems to be of concern to some of you as we occasionally call for alcohol in our cooking -- it's an excellent way to add flavor to foods. Most, but not all of the alcohol disappears, or evaporates, leaving few calories.

Keep consumption of alcoholic beverages within daily discretionary calorie allowance. For example, people who need 2000 calories per day have a total discretionary calorie allowance of 267 calories.

Moderate drinking means no more than 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men. Twelve ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, and 1-1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits count as a drink.

Alcoholic beverages contain calories. There are about 100 calories in 12 ounces of light beer, 5 ounces of table wine, or 1-1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits. Higher alcohol content or mixing alcohol with regular soft drinks, tonic water, fruit juice, or cream, increases the calories in the beverage.

Avoid the potential harmful health effects of more than moderate drinking and strive to maintain caloric balance. Alcoholic beverages have calories but are low in nutritional value.

Cooking With Alcohol

Perhaps your doctor said "Nope, no alcohol at all". Well, okay we can deal with this! There are substitutions you can make in recipes calling for wine, beer, etc.

Here are some suggestions: Chef Cooking

  • In savory dishes for each cup (240 ml) of wine in the recipe, substitute 7/8 cup (210 ml) of fat-free low-sodium chicken, beef, vegetable broth, apple juice, white grape juice, or tomato juice, with 2 tablespoons (30 ml) fresh lemon juice or vinegar.
  • In desserts, substitute fruit juice for the wine, adding a dash of balsamic vinegar to the juice.
  • For orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, use an equivalent amount of frozen orange juice concentrate plus some grated orange zest.
  • For coffee liqueur, use double-strength espresso or instant coffee made with 4 to 6 times the amount of coffee normally used.
  • For brandy or rum, try a small amount of brandy or rum extract, or pure vanilla extract.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published the following information concerning the use of alcohol.

Preparation Procedure: Alcohol added to boiling liquid and removed from heat
Percent alcohol retained: 85 percent alcohol

Preparation Procedure: Alcohol flamed
Percent alcohol retained: 75 percent

Preparation Procedure: No heat, stored overnight
Percent alcohol retained: 70 percent

Preparation Procedure: Baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture
Percent alcohol retained: 45 percent

Preparation Procedure: Baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture (percent alcohol retained):

  • 15 minutes: 40 percent
  • 30 minutes: 35 percent
  • 1 hour: 25 percent
  • 1.5 hours: 20 percent
  • 2 hours: 10 percent
  • 2.5 hours: 5 percent

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