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Drinking Habits to Avoid If You're Pre-Diabetic, Says Dietitian

Prevent diabetes and manage your blood sugar with these simple strategies.

Blood sugar issues can go undetected for years, even decades, before getting diagnosed with diabetes. Pre-diabetes is the precursor to developing diabetes. In fact, nearly 30% of the US population is considered to be prediabetic, and many don't even know it.

Signs and symptoms of blood sugar issues include increased thirst, frequent urination, increased moodiness (especially when hungry), increased hunger, and fatigue. Oftentimes, these blood sugar issues arise when going too long without eating or right after meals.

If you have prediabetes, consider these five beverage habits to avoid to keep your blood sugars in check!

1

Drop the sugar-sweetened beverages.

peach iced tea
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You might think soda is the main culprit here, but there are many sneaky sugars in other types of beverages. Sugar and creamer in coffee, sweet tea, juice, and sports drinks all pack a super-sweet punch that doesn't do our blood sugar any favors.

Opt for zero-calorie, zero-sugar options when possible. Always check the label for added sugars, as many products appear health-conscious, but still contain sweeteners.

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2

Stop swapping food for alcohol.

Men cheers with glasses of a whiskey soda alcohol cocktail drink
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It's easy to want to skip the main meal in exchange for an extra drink, but this is a recipe for disaster. Alcohol can cause low blood sugars later, sometimes hitting you in the middle of the night. Not only is this dangerous, but can also impact nighttime eating behaviors!

Choose low-sugar booze, and pair it with a balanced meal instead!

3

Juicing at home.

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Juice sounds healthy—it comes from fruit after all—but it's packed with as much sugar as sodas. Even homemade juice is stripped of fiber and high in natural sugars.

When it comes to blood glucose, any type of sugar will raise our blood sugar. Even healthier sugar options like honey, maple syrup, and fruit will still raise blood glucose the same as refined sugars.

A better blood sugar swap is whole fruit instead of juice! Get the benefit of fruit's natural sweetness with an added boost of fiber by eating the whole thing.

4

Ordering specialty coffee drinks.

starbucks frappuccino
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That venti-sized drink might look alluring, but it may not be worth it if you knew what it was doing to your blood sugar. Most specialty drinks are loaded with syrups and sweeteners that spike blood sugar quickly.

Choose a simple coffee order like a latte or cappuccino, or ask the barista to go easy on the syrup. Many coffee shops have light syrup or sugar-free alternatives as well!

Here are the 8 Healthiest Ways to Drink Your Coffee, According to Dietitians.

5

Opting for only coffee at breakfast

drinking coffee
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Coffee alone is not a meal! Skipping breakfast and relying on caffeine to power through can cause blood sugar fluctuations, dips in energy, and might lead you to overeat at your next meal.

Choose a balanced breakfast with a good source of protein to start your day off right—like one of these 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full. Then, for more prediabetes tips, we've got you covered with the best eating habits to avoid.

Caroline Thomason, RDN
Caroline is a women's health Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more
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