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Our age is a huge factor in whether or not we develop diabetes later in life. Being over the age of 65 automatically places us at high risk for developing diabetes.
Choose to get ahead of your blood sugar concerns now instead of waiting until they pop up later in life. It’s not just age; there are many genetic and lifestyle factors that increase our risk for high blood sugar. Factors that contribute to your risk of developing diabetes include:
- Family history
- Having gestational diabetes
- Your physical activity level
- Practicing a healthy lifestyle
Many factors we cannot control such as family history and your age, but there are others that are well within our control to lower blood sugar levels after 50!
The two biggest influences on health—diet and exercise—are absolutely within your control. Let’s take a look at the best drinking habits that lower your blood sugar in your 50s.
Sometimes the simple solutions are best! Hydrating with plain H2O will help lower blood sugar every time. High blood sugar is naturally dehydrating and will make you feel quite thirsty.
Drinking enough water throughout the day will dilute the blood sugar in your bloodstream and naturally improve your glucose response!
Melissa Mitri, MS, RD explains, “Drinking plenty of water and other non-sweetened beverages helps your kidneys flush out excess sugar in your urine. Observational studies have also shown people who drink more water have a reduced risk of high blood sugar.”
Drinking alcohol alone can actually cause low blood sugars in those with diabetes. However, sugary beverage alternatives aren’t much of a better solution.
Instead, opt for alcohol options that are naturally low in added sugars. Dry wines, light beer, and seltzers all fit the bill here.
Choose to pair your beverage of choice with a balanced meal for even better blood sugar results. Emphasizing a protein choice, a portion-sized carbs, and a serving or two of veggies will go a long way in preventing blood sugar swings while enjoying your adult cocktail of choice.
Diet drinks and artificial sweeteners can absolutely have a place in your beverage rotation if you enjoy them!
These drinks are still hydrating and may help keep you on track if you enjoy a taste of something sweet throughout the day but don’t want the impending blood sugar rollercoaster that comes along with it.
Flavored water, tea, juice, and soda can all be found in diet varieties. Enjoying one or two diet drinks a day has been found to be completely safe without side effects! In fact, some people even report it helps them stay on track with their nutrition goals.
Did you know coffee alone spikes blood sugar by raising stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine? This is one of the reasons why we feel so awake upon drinking it.
Not only that, but if you add sweeteners and creamers to your coffee, you might be further spiking your blood sugar as soon as you wake up.
An easy change to mitigate this early morning blood sugar rollercoaster is to eat something first before you drink your coffee. Eating a balanced meal that contains a protein source will work to balance blood sugars before the caffeine hits!
Caroline Thomason, RDN