Is Beer Good For Diabetes?

Alcohol! Does it ring a bell? Alcohol in summer! Pint, can or bottle? Yes, we are talking of your summer special mood lifter, beer! Beer is the most commonly consumed liquor. Part of this is its low alcohol content compared to other stiff drinks and its many health benefits. The health benefits of beer even include preventing cancer, controlling diabetes, preventing kidney stones, reducing cholesterol and blood clots, etc. It also helps regulate digestion, osteoporosis, bone health, and high blood pressure.

But even after so many health benefits, can diabetic patients drink beer? Is beer good for diabetes? In this blog, let us know the health benefits of beer and how much beer can be consumed by sugar patients.

Beer is an alcoholic drink, but it has many benefits that are essential for many parts of the body. It is rich in vitamins that help maintain haemoglobin and treat anaemia. It also helps protect the heart and prevent many heart diseases.

What is Beer? 

Beer is made from barley, wheat or corn. Beer is the end product of the brewing process of fermented starch and sugar. Do you know that it is considered food instead of drink and called “liquid bread”? Talking about a safe and healthy amount, a moderate amount of 1 drink daily for women and two drinks for men is considered beneficial for health.

However, consuming too much beer can have adverse health effects. They include uncontrolled blood sugar levels, alcohol dependence or addiction, depression, liver problems, kidney problems, cancer, or early death. So even though it has many health benefits, before drinking it, take complete information about your health, issues, lifestyle, quantity of beer, etc. It is not safe for everyone.

Can Diabetics Drink Beer?

The answer to the question, can diabetics drink beer, is no in general. According to the Diabetes UK website, drinks like beer on consumption can spike your blood sugar. Beer has a high GI and carbohydrate content, which causes a rise in blood sugar. It can also make you gain weight as it increases your appetite. This can also lead to hypoglycemia. The Centers for Disease Control says one drink per day for women and two drinks of alcohol for men safe. The part that many miss is they aren’t talking specifically about beer they are referring to alcohol in general. Although alcohol in moderate amounts can be consumed occasionally by diabetic patients, it’s important to choose the right kind of alcohol. Alcoholic drinks like beer, vodka with juice, wines and alcopops are a big no for diabetic patients due to their high caloric profile. For diabetic patients, it’s best to avoid alcohol, and even when going for alcohol, choose low-calorie drinks.

Drinks like whiskey, gin, rum, etc., are comparatively much lower in calories. However, consume these drinks with water or soda and do not add sugary juices or cold drinks. Another thing to note is that diabetic patients who have an irresistible urge to have beer can do so in moderation, occasionally. However, the individual should have controlled blood sugar, and it is best if they have cleared their glucose tolerance test. Also, note such diabetic patients should go for lager and light beers instead of strong beers.

Read More: Normal Blood Sugar Level for Adults Agewise.

Nutritional Value of BeerNutritional Value of Beer

A standard bottle contains many nutrients that have different health benefits. According to the USDA, here are the various nutrients present in one can of beer (356 g) and their quantity:

Nutritional Value of Beer
Nutrients (in standard bottle) Its amount
Calories 153 g
Fat 0
Carbohydrate 13 g
Magnesium 5%
Selenium 4%
Protein 1.6g
Riboflavin 7%
folate 5%
Vitamin B12 3%
Pantothenic Acid 3%
Choline 7%
Niacin 9%
Alcohol 13.2g

Apart from this, it also contains trace amounts of zinc, calcium, iron and potassium. Although it has all these minerals and vitamins, to meet your daily requirements, you must consume it in large quantities, which is dangerous for your health. You should adopt healthy food like fruits and vegetables to get these nutrients.

Read More: How to Stimulate your Pancreas to produce insulin hormones in the body?

Glycemic Index of BeerGlycemic Index of Beer

Beer has a high glycemic index, around 100. Also, the glycemic load of beer is very low, at 7.5, because of the low carbohydrate content. That’s why sugar patients have to take care before drinking it. The amount and your glycemic control will determine whether you should drink beer or not.

Beer and Diabetes

If someone has diabetes, their body cells become resistant towards insulin hormones. These cells stop using glucose received from food and let it be released into the bloodstream. This is known as high blood sugar levels in the body, and the condition refers to hyperglycemia, which can harm various organs and tissues.

According to a study published by the National Institute of Health, alcohol consumption has been associated with hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is a low blood sugar condition, so be watchful when drinking any liquor or beer. When you drink alcohol, your liver must first clean the alcohol from your system. Your liver is entitled to store glucose in the body, so this cleansing process puts extra work on the liver.

When it comes to beer, it is safe to drink beer but in a moderate amount with controlled diabetes. Any kind of alcohol has an adverse effect on your health, so be aware. Drinking beer or any alcohol within the limit can mitigate the risks of imbalanced blood sugar levels and other health risks.

Alcohol, including beer, can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels. If you are on diabetes medication or insulin, then consuming beer can have fatal results. It can cause hypoglycemia, which can be a non-manageable situation. So, know your limits as per your physiological status and glycemic control.

Alcohol Daily Limit

According to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the limit of daily alcohol for women is one drink a day, and for males, two drinks a day.

This way, one can have beer benefits without many of its side effects. You can consult your doctor if you experience dizziness, feeling sleepy or confused. These are some symptoms of hypoglycemia.

Although we do not suggest beer consumption to gain certain health benefits, unlike beer, there are multiple healthy substitutes and options like fruits, nuts, salads, vegetables, etc., to attain those health benefits without any adverse consequences and sugar spikes.

Read More:What are the Glycemic Index and ways to calculate the Gi Value of Food Items?

Which Beer is Good for Diabetes in India?

However, no beer is good for diabetes choosing low-carb and light beers will do less harm. Below is the diabetic beer list, which has comparatively less carb content than regular beers.

  • Budweiser Select 55 – Carbs per 12oz: 2g
  • Corona Premier – Carbs per 12oz: 2.6 g
  • Dogfish Head Slightly Mighty – Carbs per 12oz: 3.2 g
  • Bira 91 – Carbs per 12oz: 3.6 g
  • Beck’s Premier Light – Carbs per 12oz: 3.9 g
  • Carlsberg Lite – Carbs per 12oz: 4 g

Note: To lessen the blood sugar impact, drink these beers in measured quantities and look for healthy side dishes or snacks like plain peanuts, sprouts, etc.

Is Wheat Beer Good for Diabetes?

Beer, whether made from wheat, corn or barley, isn’t good for diabetes patients due to its high calories. Wheat beer, too, is formed after fermentation, which makes it high in calories and suitable for diabetic patients. Diabetes patients should avoid beer and go for low-carb alcohol drinks.


Beer has various health benefits when consumed in moderation due to its nutritional value. It contains protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals that are good for heart, bone health, diabetes, and kidney and brain function. On the other hand, drinking too much alcohol can be more harmful than beneficial and can even lead to death.

It is an addiction that ultimately increases the risk of many health conditions.

Alcohol always has more negative sides than positive ones. You can also get these nutrients from other dietary choices, fruits and vegetables. So we suggest you have a diabetic-friendly diet, follow a fitness regime and adopt a healthy lifestyle to manage your blood sugar levels and lead a healthy life with healthy choices.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Does any beer contain sugar?

Where regular beer has zero sugar, non-alcoholic beers have high amounts of sugar. Non-alcoholic beer contains 28.5 grams of sugar. Similarly, light beer also has a sugar content of 0.3 grams in one standard bottle. Regular and low-carb beers have no sugar and are safe to consume in little or moderate amounts.

Which beer is sugar-free?

All beers are sugar-free, but the number of carbs decides the beer’s impact on sugar levels and weight. The more carb, the more its effect on diabetes and weight control. The amount of sugar and carbs in different brands are as follows: In Bud Light, 4.6 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar; in Busch: 6.9 grams of carbs, no sugar; in Budweiser: 10.6 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar in Heineken: 11.4 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, Coors Banquet: 11.7 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, Coors Light: 5 grams of carbs, 1 gram of sugar.

Is beer a sugary drink?

Beer has zero sugar in it. Other alcoholic cocktail drinks have sugar content and soda that can impact sugar levels. Although beer has zero sugar in it, it is high in calories, which can increase sugar levels and weight. So if you want to lose weight or control sugar levels, have it in moderate or limited amounts.

Can beer increase blood sugar levels?

Any alcoholic drink, including beer, is full of carbohydrates and is high in calories. This can lead to high carb levels in the body, resulting in high blood sugar levels. It also increases weight, which is also one of the reasons for diabetes and high sugar levels. It is advisable to avoid beer as much as you can or just have a minimal amount. Since it’s high in calories, it affects the liver since these calories are stored as fat in the liver.

How many beers can a diabetic person drink in a day?

According to the American Diabetes Association, one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men are reasonable for diabetics. One drink size is 12 oz. But still try to avoid the consumption of alcohol. There are many foods, fruits and vegetables from which you can get the nutrients instead of beer. This will be safer than beer or alcohol.

What is better, beer or wine?

Compared to wine, beer contains many nutrients such as B vitamins, niacin, folate, selenium, fibre and protein. Also, it is a good option to manage the sugar level and avoid the risk of heart disease.

Is Kingfisher beer good for diabetes?

Diabetes patients can choose Kingfisher Premium Lager Beer from the Kingfisher beer range. This beer variant has a lower carb content of just 2.8 grams, and a 650 ml bottle has 220 kcal.

Is Corona beer good for diabetes?

Yes, Corona Premier beer is better for diabetic patients as it has a lower carb content of 2.6 g per 12 oz. However, don’t overdrink this beer and only drink it occasionally.

Is Lager beer good for diabetes?

Yes, lager beer is better for diabetes than strong beer. This is due to their lower carb content and lower calorie count. For diabetes patients, males can have a bottle of lager beer 650 ml in one go, and females can have half of this quantity.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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