The media report that for people with diabetes and obesity, beer is banned. Let’s figure it out, right?
The reason for the ban is explained by the fact that beer has a very high glycemic index (GI). It shows that the drink can quickly raise blood glucose levels. And for people with diabetes and prediabetes, this is undesirable. Another reason is that beer promotes weight gain.
Maltose in beer is worse than glucose, but there are nuances
What you need to know about beer for people with diabetes or obesity, aif.ru tells psychoendocrinologist and president of the Russian Diabetes Association Mikhail Bogomolov:
– Beer is made from barley, and therefore, the main sugar in it is maltose. Since it is very easily absorbed into the blood and transformed (turned) into glucose, it really quickly raises its level in the blood. Because of this, maltose increases blood sugar 1.4 times more than glucose itself. It turns out that beer has a really high glycemic index. Potentially, for people with diabetes, this is a negative point. But there are extenuating circumstances when it comes to beer.
The fact is that in this drink the carbohydrate content is low, on average, 7.5 g of sugars are present in a glass of 250 ml (depending on the specific type, it may be a little less or more). For comparison, in the same glass of regular soda there is at least 25 g of sugar, and in 150 g of boiled potatoes – 24 g. Therefore, despite the high GI, beer will not greatly increase blood glucose, but only with moderate consumption.
Plus, this negative effect is partially balanced by the beneficial effects of beer. For example, studies have shown that the consumption of any alcohol at a dose of 24 g of ethanol (pure alcohol) per day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 30%. And by the way, this effect is more pronounced in women: they have. the estimated protective effect is up to 45%, and in men – up to 25%.
How does it all work in the body?
“Scientists offer several mechanisms to explain this,” continues Bogomolov. – First, alcohol increases the level of adiponectin. This signaling (regulatory) peptide secreted by adipose tissue protects against type 2 diabetes. The fact that adiponectin is predominantly produced in the adipose tissue of the buttocks explains the stronger protective effect in women compared to men.
There are other mechanisms of protective action of alcohol. Not all of them are well studied. But in general, small doses of alcohol suppress the acute rise in blood glucose levels after a meal and increase the early response to insulin. Supporting studies show that people with diabetes who consume less than 40 grams of alcohol per day have lower levels of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) compared to abstinent people. This indicator reflects the average blood glucose level during the previous 8-12 weeks, and it is a good indicator of how well the patient regulates glucose levels.
In addition, there are scientific studies that show that in people with diabetes, moderate consumption of beer and alcohol reduces the risk of microvascular complications (damage to the eyes, kidneys, etc.) and death from coronary heart disease.
Acceptable drink but with reservations
“For most diabetic patients, beer can be an acceptable drink, but only if certain conditions are strictly observed,” the expert warns. “Firstly, it should only be consumed in moderation. If we talk about specific doses, then a day is about one bottle of 0.5 liters for men and half of this dose for women. And you should not drink every day, and not more than 4-5 days a week. Secondly, beer is best consumed with meals. It must be clearly understood that the excess of these amounts of alcohol eliminates the beneficial effects of the drink and makes it harmful. I note that in recent years a lot of non-alcoholic beer has appeared, in which there are usually few sugars. Such a drink for people with diabetes is even more preferable.
All of the above is true for people with obesity. With such a small intake, it does not contribute to weight gain.