Is Brandy Good for Diabetes? Risks & Benefits


Believed to have originated in the Mediterranean during the 12th century, brandy is a distilled spirit made by fermenting and distilling wine. Several countries produce it now, some of the most notable being France, Spain, and the United States. Nutritional-wise, brandy is high in calories. Additionally, it is high in sugar due to the fermented fruit juice used to make it.

Alcohol, including brandy, is not recommended for those with diabetes due to its potential effects on blood sugar levels and overall health. For example, it may cause an increase in blood sugar and interfere with diabetes medications, increasing the risk of hypoglycemia and other health issues. For this reason, people with diabetes should either avoid alcohol altogether or consume it in minimal amounts under close medical supervision.

Some research studies showcase the beneficial effects of alcohol, including brandy, on blood sugar regulation. However, the sample size is small, and further research is needed to conclude the impact. This article showcases the effect of brandy on diabetes, associated risks and some healthy tips. Please do note that this article in no way advocates the consumption of alcohol whether you are diabetic or completely healthy.

Brandy: An Overview of the Distilled Alcoholic Beverage

The name “brandy” is derived from the Dutch word “Brandewijn,” meaning “burned wine.” The manufacturing process of the spirit involves the distillation of wine or fermented fruit juice, usually grapes. However, manufacturers also make it from other fruits, such as apples, apricots, and pears.

Brandy is a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, which can protect cells from damage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes. Additionally, brandy contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12 and potassium. Nevertheless, people with diabetes should be aware that brandy has a high content of calories and alcohol, which can increase blood sugar levels. Alcohol can also interfere with the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels, making it difficult to manage diabetes.

Is Brandy Good for Diabetes?

Studies have shown that consuming alcohol can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and negatively impact blood sugar control in individuals who already have diabetes. 

Another study shows that the potential effects of long-term alcohol use in people with diabetes are significant. If a person with diabetes is well-nourished, excessive blood sugar levels may be controlled. However, if the diabetic is not receiving adequate nutrition, dangerously low blood sugar levels may occur. Furthermore, heavy drinking can cause the accumulation of acids in the blood, posing a severe threat to health. Alcohol consumption can also worsen diabetes-related medical complications, such as disturbances in fat metabolism, nerve damage, and eye disease.

In addition to increasing the risk of developing diabetes and diabetic complications, alcohol can also interact with diabetes medications and make them less effective. Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low, which can be dangerous, especially if you’re taking insulin or other medications that lower blood sugar.

The HealthifyMe Note

It is not recommended for diabetes patients to consume brandy or any other form of alcohol due to its effects on blood sugar levels, medications and overall health. Diabetes patients should avoid alcohol or consume it in small quantities under close medical supervision. If you are a diabetes patient, you must consult your healthcare provider before making any change to diet or lifestyle. They can provide personalised advice and recommendations to help you manage your diabetes effectively and safely.

Side Effects of Brandy for People with Diabetes

Blood Sugar Spikes

Consuming brandy can pose a risk to people with diabetes due to its effect on blood sugar levels. Alcohol can cause blood sugar levels to increase, which can be dangerous for those with diabetes. Furthermore, alcohol can interact with diabetes medications, reducing their effectiveness and making it more challenging to manage blood sugar levels, potentially increasing the risk of diabetes complications.

Dehydration

Consuming brandy may lead to dehydration in people with diabetes, as alcohol is a diuretic and increases urine production. It is especially concerning for diabetes patients as they are more prone to dehydration and its associated risks, such as dry mouth, fatigue, and headache. These can contribute to further diabetic complications, such as kidney disease and nerve damage.

Other Health Problems

Overindulging in brandy can lead to other health issues, such as liver disease, high blood pressure, and various kinds of cancer. Additionally, long-term consumption of alcohol can cause weight gain, which can be detrimental to those with diabetes since a healthy body weight is essential to diabetes management.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis. It results from a lack of insulin in the body and can be triggered when a person drinks too much. Alcohol can disrupt the regular metabolism of glucose, resulting in the build-up of toxic acids in the bloodstream.

The HealthifyMe Note

For people with diabetes, consuming brandy can have serious adverse side effects, including an impact on blood sugar levels, an increased risk of diabetes complications and other health problems. Furthermore, brandy can lead to increased blood sugar levels, dehydration, and other potential health problems such as liver disease, high blood pressure, and certain types of cancer. Therefore, it is strongly advised that people with diabetes avoid alcohol entirely or consume it in small amounts with close medical supervision. Before making any changes to their diet or lifestyle, diabetes patients should always consult with their healthcare provider.

Conclusion

Moderate consumption of brandy may have potential health benefits for those with diabetes. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings and ensure the safe consumption of brandy. Furthermore, it is essential to note that excessive consumption can have adverse effects on overall health. Therefore, people with diabetes should limit their brandy consumption to moderate amounts and consult a healthcare professional to discuss the potential risks and benefits. In addition, any medications should not be combined with brandy, as this could lead to further adverse health effects.

The Research Sources

1. Emanuele NV, Swade TF, Emanuele MA. Consequences of alcohol use in diabetics. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):211-9. PMID: 15706798; PMCID: PMC6761899.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761899/

2. Emanuele NV, Swade TF, Emanuele MA. Consequences of alcohol use in diabetics. Alcohol Health Res World. 1998;22(3):211-9. PMID: 15706798; PMCID: PMC6761899.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6761899/

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