Is Brandy Good for Diabetes Patients? Benefits and Side Effects

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 6, 2024

Last updated on January 9th, 2024

When dealing with diabetes, the biggest challenge one faces is figuring out which food to eat and which to avoid. Scrolling on the food list today, we explore one of the winter’s favourite alcoholic beverages, the BRANDY. In this blog, we delve into the nuanced relationship between brandy and diabetes type 2, exploring the question, is brandy good for diabetes patients? Furthermore, we will present a comparative analysis between brandy and whisky. We’ll also reveal brandy benefits and side effects. All this will present a clearer understanding to those navigating this delicate balance.

What is Brandy?

Brandy is a distilled alcoholic variety prepared by fermenting fruit juices, typically grape juice. The term “brandy” is the Dutch word “brandewijn,” which translates to “burnt wine,”. Thus reflecting the process of distillation. However, it was in medieval Europe that brandy production gained prominence as a method to preserve and concentrate wine. The fermentation process involves distilling the fermented liquid to concentrate the alcohol content. The result is a spirit known for its rich, fruity flavors.

Over time, specific regions developed their own renowned varieties, such as Cognac from France and Armagnac from the Gascony region. These regional distinctions contribute to the diverse world of brandy we know today. Different types of fruit can be used, but grape brandy is particularly renowned. It’s enjoyed both on its own and as a key ingredient in various cocktails.

Read More: Is Apricot Good for Diabetics?

Nutritional Value of Brandy

According to the latest nutritional data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, here is the nutritional value of brandy:

Nutrients per 100 grams or 126 ml Amount
Calories 231 kcal
Protein 0 g
Fat 0 g
Carbs 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Sugar 0 g
Iron 0.04 mg
Phosphorus 4 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Zinc 0.04 mg
Copper 0.02 mg
Thiamin 0.006 mg
Riboflavin 0.004 mg
Niacin 0.013 mg

Brandy Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of brandy is zero, according to This is due to very low carb content. Not only brandy but the majority of alcoholic drinks have zero glycemic indexes and load.

Read More: Smoking and Diabetes: Effects, Risks, and How To Quit

Brandy and Diabetes

Now it’s time to answer the question of the hour: is brandy good for diabetes patients? The answer is brandy can only be good for diabetes patients who have controlled blood sugar. The benefits of drinking brandy are only applicable to diabetic patients who have cleared their GTT (Glucose Tolerance Test), and that too in measured amounts. So drinking in permissible amounts occasionally for diabetics helps in improving heart health, according to the Mayo Clinic. It also minimizes the chances of ischemic strokes. For liquors like brandy, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. One drink measures only 1.5 ounces or 44 ml. 

However, the problem with drinking liquors like brandy is that they are addictive. Secondly, when alcohol is consumed socially very often, the permissible limit is breached, and there, it starts to do more harm than good. Drinking in excess can lead to hypoglycemia in diabetes patients, according to a Johns Hopkins University review. Moreover, drinking alcoholic beverages like brandy may cause the deposition of acids in the blood. This is very harmful for diabetics. Regular alcohol consumption clearly negatively affects diabetes. It also increases the chances of diabetes-related complications, says the National Library of Medicine.


So, the simple summary of the above analysis is that brandy is only good when consumed occasionally and in measured amounts. However, diabetes patients with uncontrolled blood sugar should totally avoid brandy. Excess brandy drinking can cause hypoglycemia and diabetes-related complications.

Read More: Is Black Coffee Good for Diabetes?

Brandy or Whisky Which is Good for Diabetics?

To answer the question, you need to look at the nutritional composition of brandy and whisky. Brandy is made from grapes and is rich in antioxidants. However, whisky has more varied ingredients and goes under vigorous fermentation. Whisky has no sugar, carbs or fat. According to the phablecare website, whiskey is better for diabetes patients.

However, stick with the limits your doctor prescribes and only drink occasionally.

Which is the best brandy for diabetics?

The best brandy for diabetics is Morpheus XO in budget. However, if you intend to spend more, undoubtedly, Hennessy Cognac brandy has no competition.

Read More: Is Alcohol Good or Bad For Diabetes

Brandy Benefits

Brandy Benefits

The benefits of brandy for diabetic patients can be obtained only when you do moderate and occasional drinking. So here are some of the benefits:

Cardiovascular Health

Moderate consumption of brandy for sugar patients may offer potential benefits for diabetes patients, primarily through its impact on cardiovascular health. Some studies propose that moderate alcohol intake can increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. It is HDL cholesterol, which is referred to as the “good” cholesterol and has anti-inflammatory effects that could be beneficial.

High Antioxidant Content

Additionally, certain compounds in brandy, like polyphenols, may exhibit antioxidant properties. These antioxidants can help in warding off oxidative stress, which is associated with various chronic conditions, including diabetes.

Improves immunity

Brandy for sugar patients contains antibacterial compounds. Moreover, alcohol helps with cold, cough and flu. That is why all cough syrups have alcohol content. Brandy has a warm effect on the body and helps the body relax. Brandy has been used to improve immunity in older adults for hundreds of years.

Helps with sleep

Brandy and diabetes patients have a connection with sleep. Due to brandy’s warm and soothing effects, it’s a great post-dinner drink. Consumption of brandy for diabetic patients can induce an undisturbed and sound sleep. However, this cannot be a daily habit for diabetes patients.

Reduces Inflammation

Brandy for diabetic patients helps lessen inflammation in arteries due to the presence of high polyphenolic compounds. Also, occasional brandy drinking can help regulate your blood pressure.

However, it’s crucial to note that excessive alcohol consumption can lead to adverse effects. These include hypoglycemia, liver complications, and interference with diabetes medications.

Read More: Best Alcohol for Diabetics

Side Effects of Drinking Brandy

Side Effects of Drinking Brandy

Consuming brandy, like any alcoholic beverage, can have several potential side effects for diabetics. These include:

Blood Sugar Fluctuations

Alcohol can lead to heavy fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. It may initially cause a drop in blood sugar, but later, it can lead to an abrupt rise as the body processes the alcohol.

Interaction with Medications

Brandys and other alcoholic beverages can interact with diabetes medications, potentially altering their effectiveness or causing adverse reactions.

Risk of Hypoglycemia

Excessive alcohol intake can heighten the chances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), especially if consumed without food.

Weight Gain

Alcoholic beverages, including brandy, contribute calories. Excessive consumption leads to weight gain, which can impact diabetes management, especially for overweight diabetics.

Liver Concerns

Diabetes itself can affect the liver, and alcohol places additional stress on this organ. Excessive drinking may contribute to liver complications.

Read More: 10 Health Benefits of Drinking Beer


In conclusion, the relationship between brandy and diabetes is a nuanced one. Moderate brandy consumption may have potential cardiovascular benefits and antioxidant properties. However, diabetics must approach this cautiously. The key lies in moderation, constant communication with your diabetologist, and meticulous monitoring of blood sugar levels.

Moreover, the risks of blood sugar fluctuations, medication interactions, and other potential side effects emphasize the importance of making informed choices.

Ultimately, if considering brandy or any alcoholic beverage, consultation with your diabetologist is paramount. Responsible and informed decision-making ensures that individuals with diabetes can navigate the complex landscape of alcohol consumption.

Read More: Beer or Breezer: Which Can be a Better Choice?

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Does brandy increase blood sugar?

Yes, like other alcoholic beverages brandy too increases blood sugar. Therefore, diabetes patients with high sugar and HbA1c levels should completely avoid brandy. Only diabetics who have cleared GTT and with controlled sugar levels can have brandy that, too, in prescribed amounts occasionally.

Can diabetic drink brandy?

Yes, diabetic patients can definitely have brandy, but in moderation. However, the diabetic patient should have controlled sugar levels. Before drinking brandy, get in touch with your diabetologist to figure out the safe limit for you.

How much brandy can a diabetes patient drink?

The ADA (American Diabetes Association) recommends 2 drinks (88 ml) for men and one drink (44 ml) for women. However, your diabetologist is the best judge to decide the permissible quantity of brandy for you.

Is brandy high in sugar?

No brandy is made through the process of fermentation, which converts sugar into alcohol. Therefore, technically, brandy has no sugar.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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