People with diabetes are four times as likely to have heart disease than people who don’t have diabetes, says the American Heart Association. Some data implies that drinking average amounts of red wine could reduce the risk of heart disease, but other experts caution people with diabetes upon drinking, period.

All About Diabetes

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in their research revealed that more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes.

Most cases of the disease are type 2 diabetes a disease in which the body doesn’t make adequate insulin, uses insulin wrongly, or both. This can create high levels of sugar in the blood. People with type 2 diabetes must check this sugar, or blood glucose, with a combination of medications, like insulin, and lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise. Diet is the key to diabetes management.

How red wine affects blood sugar

According to the American Diabetes Association, drinking red wine or any alcoholic beverage can reduce blood sugar for up to 24 hours. For that reason, they suggest checking your blood sugar before you drink, while you drink, and monitoring it for up to 24 hours after drinking.

Intoxication and low blood sugar can share many of the same symptoms, so failing to check your blood glucose could cause others to believe you’re feeling the effects of an alcoholic beverage when the fact your blood sugar may be reaching dangerously low levels.

There’s another reason to be careful of your blood sugar levels while taking: Some alcoholic beverages, including drinks that use juice or a mixer high in sugar, can raise blood sugar.

Benefits of red wine for people with diabetes

Results on blood sugar aside, there is some indication that red wine might contribute benefits to people with type 2 diabetes.

recent study showed that average red wine consumption ( one glass per day in this study) can decrease the risks of heart disease in people with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

However, In the study, more than 200 participants were observed for two years. One group had a glass of red wine each night with dinner, one had white wine, and the other had mineral water. All resulted in a healthy Mediterranean-style diet without any calorie restraints.

Then, after two years, the red wine group had greater levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or good cholesterol) than they did before, and lower cholesterol levels overall. They also saw improvements in glycemic control.

The researchers gathered that drinking average amounts of red wine in combination with a healthy diet can “modestly lower” heart disease risks.

The same researcher also reveals relationships between average red wine intake and health benefits among type 2 diabetics, whether well-controlled or not.

Benefits added enhanced post-meal blood sugar levels, better next morning fasting blood sugar levels and improved insulin immunity. The report also points out that it may not be the alcohol itself, but first components of the red wine, like polyphenols (health-promoting chemicals in foods) that give the benefits.

Red wine is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols and is recognized with numerous likely health benefits when you drink it in average amounts.

People with diabetes who want to take advantage of these potential benefits should always remember: Moderate intake is the best way for safer health, and timing of alcohol intake with food intake needs to be recognized, particularly for those on diabetes medicine.