No doubt: Water is the perfect drink. It doesn’t have calories, sugar, or carbs, and it’s as close as a tap. If you’re after something tastier, though, you’ve got options.
Some tempting or seemingly healthy drinks aren’t great for you, but you can make swaps or easy homemade versions of many of them. These tasty treats can fit into your diabetes diet and still satisfy your cravings.
1. Chocolate Milk
This treat may remind you of the school lunchroom, but it’s a good calcium-rich choice for grown-ups as well. Low-fat chocolate milk can be a good post-workout recovery drink. The bad news: Ready-made brands come packed with sugar. Try this at home: Mix 1% milk, 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder, and 2 tablespoons of the zero-calorie sweetener of your choice. It saves you 70 calories, 16 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fat compared to 1 cup of store-bought, reduced-fat chocolate milk.
2. Sweet Tea
A 16-ounce fast-food version might have up to 36 grams of carbs. That’s a lot of sugar, especially when there are carb-free choices, like sugar-free iced tea or iced tea crystals, that are just as satisfying. But you can also easily make your own: Steep tea with your favorite crushed fruit (raspberries are a good choice). Strain, chill, and then sweeten with your choice of no-calorie sugar substitute. That’s a tall glass of refreshment.
7. Apple Cider
Few things beat a hot, fragrant cup of this when there’s a chill in the air and the leaves are turning colors. And though it may be farm-fresh, the cider packs the same amount of carbs per serving as plain-old apple juice — 26 grams per cup. Instead, choose a light apple juice cocktail, and you’ll cut the carbs and calories in half.