If you have diabetes or would just like to eat a healthy balanced diet, it is important to watch out for hidden calories and sugars in your drink. These natural and added refined carbs can cause your blood glucose levels to fluctuate and add excess weight over time. Skip the sugary drinks and sip on drinks that are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs.
Fruit and Oat Smoothie
A fruit and oat smoothie gives you soluble fiber that helps to lower blood glucose levels and reduce high cholesterol. This type of dietary fiber, which dissolves in water, is found in foods such as oats, nuts, apples and blueberries. According to Harvard Health Publications, all adults require at least 20 to 30 grams of fiber every day for good digestive and heart health. If you have Type 2 diabetes, adding fiber to your diet is especially important to balance blood glucose levels and help you lose excess weight by keeping your hunger in check.
Yogurt and Fruit Smoothie
Consuming low-carbohydrate foods and drinks can help keep your blood glucose levels balanced. A yogurt and fruit smoothie made with almond milk is low-carb, low-fat and gives you plenty of protein, fiber, calcium and vitamin E. Diabetic Living recommends blending together Greek yogurt, smooth almond milk and fruit such as bananas and cherries to make a nutrient-rich drink. Choose low-fat yogurt and almond milk that does not contain any added sugar.
The American Diabetes Association advises avoiding sugary beverages such as soda, energy drinks, store-bought iced teas and fruit punch. These drinks are high in calories and sugar; just 1 cup of fruit punch gives you 100 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrates. Even natural fruit juices, which are high in carbs and low in fiber, can cause your blood glucose levels to spike. Instead, make your own unsweetened iced tea by brewing black or green tea and allowing it to cool. Flavor your cold beverage with freshly squeezed lemon or a cinnamon stick instead of sugar or any other sweetener.
Drinking your leafy green vegetables is one way to get a high dose of fiber and nutrients. Combine spinach leaves with antioxidant-rich berries and other fruits such as fresh mango slices. The spinach leaves and mango also contain vitamin A, and the berries give you vitamin C. For added nutrients and fiber, use cooled green tea for the base of your smoothie and add a spoonful of chia seeds to your green smoothie.
Nadia Haris is a registered radiation therapist who has been writing about nutrition for more than six years. She is completing her Master of Science in nutrition with a focus on the dietary needs of oncology patients.