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Carbs in Beverages & Drinks – Carb Counter
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Carbs in Beverages and Drinks
Some people make the mistake of believing that only table sugar is behind increases in blood sugar. However, a lot of the sugar content we take in every day comes from the beverages we drink. Even if a beverage is advertised as sugar-free or no-sugar added, you still need to check the carbohydrate level. Remember, all carbohydrates are eventually broken down into sugar by the body. And the carbohydrates found most often in beverages are simple sugars that require very little processing.
Milk is one example of a beverage containing a simple sugar – lactose. Similarly, fruit juice products contain fructose, another simple sugar. Other beverages have added sugars. Soft drinks, sweetened teas, flavored milk, milk shakes and more all have artificially increased sugar content.
Of course, water is essential to life. Survival is impossible without regular access to drinking water. But beyond this basic need, most beverages have little real nutritional value. That’s why high-sugar beverages are such a concern. There is very little redeeming nutritional content to balance the negative effects of added sugar.
Alcoholic beverages are popular at parties and other special occasions. You should be aware that many of these alcoholic drinks do contain carbohydrates. The amounts can vary from negligible to significant. For example, twelve fluid ounces of regular beer has an average of 13 grams of carbohydrates compared to 4.5 grams in light beers. Red wines contain 1.75 grams of carbohydrates in a 3.5 fluid oz serving, while rose and white wines have 1.5 grams and 1 gram, respectively.
Although water and sugar-free sodas can usually meet your need for fluid intake in a low-carb diet, there are alternatives if you get tired of this combination. The availability and variety of sugar-free drink mixes has expanded greatly in recent years. For a milk substitute you can try almond milk, which some find tastier than soy milk. And if you’re not quite ready to give up your latte, you can always opt for sugar-free flavorings and skim milk.
Getting adequate fluid intake is an important part of blood sugar control for diabetics. Again, as with low carb diets, water is your best choice in all situations. Of course there’s no reason not to supplement water with more interesting alternatives from time to time. However, when it comes to sodas, coffee and tea, you should self-monitor to learn how your blood sugar levels react to caffeine.