Healthy sugar-free drinks besides water are rare. But they do indeed exist.
It is especially important for a type 2 diabetic to consume drinks without sugar so that your blood sugar levels remain stable.
That is why I'm giving you a list of 11 healthy sugar-free drinks (besides water) in this article.
Healthy sugar-free drinks for diabetes patients
Sugar-free products have become really 'hot' in recent years. Most people talk about products with no added sugars.
"As a type 2 diabetes patient, that is not enough."
Eating and drinking products with no added sugars is good... but not good enough. For example, a banana contains no added sugars, so you would think that it is incredibly healthy. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. A banana contains 30 grams of sugar and not one ounce of fiber.
Finding healthy foods with low sugar content is relatively easy. But, unfortunately, this can not be said for diabetes-friendly drinks.
That's why we've put together this article featuring 11 healthy sugar-free drinks.
Let me take this opportunity to state that the following drinks do not belong in this article:
Purpose of this article
Most of the drinks on the list are entirely sugar-free. You could drink these all day long. Some come with artificial sweeteners and some without. Most of them are also ketosis friendly.
Several drinks in the list are not entirely sugar-free – they contain a minute amount of sugar. So, you can drink these as well.
#1 Black coffee
This drink is frequently in the news. One day it's the elixir of life, and the next it'll be the end of us all.
So, what's the truth?
I have good news for the coffee lovers among us.
Drinking coffee has many health benefits.
Yes, you read that right...
...coffee is healthy.
Coffee is a plant-based product that contains many healthy compounds. Most of them are antioxidants. These compounds activate the nrf2 protein in our cells.
This nrf2 protein protects our bodies against:
Drinking 3 to 5 cups of coffee per day gives you the optimal health benefit. However, if you suffer from heart problems, I would urge you not to exceed this limit – it could tip the balance from positive to negative.
#2 Green tea
I think this drink requires a little explanation.
You could say that water is a healthy drink because it doesn't have any adverse effects.
You can say the same thing about green tea, but in addition, it has a lot of benefits as well.
And fortunately, there are a bunch of people who know this.
Green tea is one of the least processed teas on earth. For this reason, it contains many healthy compounds that have a positive effect on your body.
This is mainly due to the EGCG in green tea.
EGCG has the following positive effects:
You can drink as much of this tea as you like. Several studies have shown that the health benefits of green tea only kick in when you drink 3 to 6 cups a day. So, basically, you can never drink too much of this healthy sugar-free beverage.
#3 White tea
White tea, the not so well-known relative of green tea, is perfect for you all the same.
White tea, like coffee, contains many healthy compounds known as antioxidants.
The antioxidants in white tea contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer, rheumatism, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
"What exactly is white tea?"
White tea is made from the very young buds of the tea plant. It has a subtle taste: sweet and floral.
This healthy sugar-free drink can now be found in regular supermarkets.
#4 Ginger tea
Tea, tea, tea, and more tea...
...really exciting isn't it?
But this is my special way of explaining just how incredibly healthy tea is.
I drink different teas throughout the day. They make a nice change from water, and they also come with a lot of positive effects – in stark contrast to unhealthy soft drinks and fruit juices.
People who drink fruit juice, fizzy drinks and sugary dairy drinks all day long only experience the adverse effects. Think of the unnecessary calories (which make you gain weight or hinder weight loss) and even more blood sugar problems.
A tea that doesn't worsen type 2 diabetes – and even improves it, is ginger tea.
Unfortunately, ginger tea is not very well known in the Western world.
It is, however, a very common drink in Asia.
Ginger belongs to the Zingiberaceae family.
This root/herb has been used for many years in alternative medicine.
The powerful compound in ginger is gingerol, which has a strong anti-inflammatory effect (source).
A recent study shows that eating 3 grams of ginger a day provides better glucose levels (source) in type 2 diabetes patients.
#5 Mint tea
Just one more tea and then I'll leave you alone...
Mint is used in many countries as a medicinal herb. And, of course, there's a good reason for this:
Mint appears to offer some relief to stomach cramps and is also used to treat thick mucus blocking up the airways. Steaming the cavities with the help of mint loosens up the mucus.
Several studies show that mint also combats nausea (source).
It's so good that it is a safe and effective treatment against nausea in patients undergoing chemotherapy (source).
Note: Do NOT drink fresh mint tea with honey.
The body processes honey no differently than table sugar. Both will make your blood sugar level rise fast.
Now you have 4 different healthy tea options. When you rotate them, you'll experience many different health benefits without getting bored with one particular type.
Not keen on the sugar-free drinks we've looked at so far? Don't worry, I've got your back.
The upcoming options contain a small amount of sugar. The small amount of sugar is at least natural. Others use artificial sweeteners like Stevia to make a sweet drink that is sugar-free.
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#6 Coconut water
You might imagine this drink would only be available to tropical islanders, but that's not true. These days anyone can get hold of it from their local supermarket.
Coconut water is the juice inside a coconut. When you make a hole in a fresh coconut, coconut water runs out. It is something completely different from coconut milk, which is made from the pulp of the coconut.
Coconut water tastes nutty but doesn't have an overwhelming coconut flavor. Which is why many people who don't particularly like the taste of coconut are big fans of coconut water.
Coconut water contains many more minerals than ordinary water. Large amounts of potassium, for example, which regulates the moisture balance in our body. Coconut water also contains:
These minerals are also in our blood. They are essential for almost all physical processes. Disturbing the balance of minerals in your body can have serious consequences for your health.
You should think about:
Coconut water has almost the same composition as our blood and has even been used as an intravenous saline solution.
What to look out for if you buy this product. Coconut water sold in supermarkets often has sugar added. As a diabetes patient, this is precisely what you do not want. Always check the label before you buy.
Coconut water naturally contains 2.5 to 5 grams of sugar per 100 ml (check this on the packaging when you buy). Although this is much less than regular sodas, diabetes patients should keep consumption to 1 glass a day to avoid elevated blood sugar levels.
#7 Sugar-free syrups
There is much confusion about these types of syrups.
They usually contain about 1 gram of sugar per diluted glass or even less.
Most syrups contain only sweeteners, which do not cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. They are, therefore, ideal for people with elevated blood sugar levels.
It is often claimed that most sweeteners are junk that can harm your body. There is some truth in this:
"If you take large amounts of certain sweeteners, this can, theoretically, be harmful. But, in real-world situations, this turns out to be rather impossible."
Watch out for scaremongering
Aspartame is a sweetener which many health gurus claim is harmful to your body.
America's FDA (Food and Drug Administration) concluded the following:
The maximum permitted amount of aspartame is 50 mg per kg body weight. This amount correspondents to drinking 20 cans of diet coke a day. Everything above this amount is not recommended but it is still not harmful.
A sweetener that is not harmful in large quantities (and even has health benefits) is Stevia.
The syrup Teisseire (popular in Europe) includes sucralose and Stevia. Both are sweeteners that do not influence your blood sugar and insulin levels.
Yet there is one big BUT attached to these syrups. You've been diagnosed with diabetes because you've eaten too many (added) sugars. To overcome this addiction, you have to cut down your consumption of sweet things. Only then will 'normal' food no longer be tasteless.
Sweeteners won't help you here. They are a temporary solution. In the long run, you have to reduce your intake of artificially sweetened products, even though the sweeteners themselves are not unhealthy.
If you are looking for sugar-free drinks at Starbucks, these types of sugar-free syrups are ideal. They'll give your coffee a vanilla/hazelnut/[INSERT YOUR FAVORITE] flavor and, it'll still be a (relatively) healthy sugar-free drink.
#8 Fruit water
Do you love fruit? Then this tip is for you.
A straightforward solution to give your water a fruity taste is to just add fruit to it. The fruit will give off its flavor to the water. In the meantime, the sugars are still stuck in the fibers, so hardly any sugar will be released into the water.
Specially designed bottles called infusers allow you to add fruit to water in a separate cylindrical section that slots into the outer bottle.
Leave it to infuse for a few hours and "Voila!" your water now has a delicious fruity taste.
You can also buy flavored waters in the supermarket. Here, too, you have to be careful about the added sugars.
Of course, it's much better to make these kinds of drinks yourself.
Which flavors go well in the infuser? Mint, lemon, strawberries, berries and kiwi, you name it! And, of course, why not try a nice combination of your own invention?
#9 Unsweetened soy milk
You might have been told that drinking milk helps to build up strong bones. But new research suggests that milk is not as healthy for us as we used to think. Sorry milk lovers.
The research even shows that drinking milk doesn't reduce the risk of bone fractures at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. It makes them more likely!
Not only is milk not so healthy, it also contains lactose, which is a milk sugar.
One hundred mL of milk contains about 5 grams of sugar. So with one glass, you will ingest around 10 to 15 grams of sugar – as much as you get from an apple.
And just think, some people drink dairy products until the cows come home!
Want a healthier version of milk? Then unsweetened soy milk might be the solution you're looking for. Soy milk is made from soybeans and it is a lot healthier than dairy milk. If you choose the right kind – the unsweetened one – it shouldn't contain any sugars at all.
#10 Unsweetened almond milk
Not keen on soy milk?
I can understand that somewhat. Not much taste, so not really nasty, but also not very tasty.
If you feel the same way, then it might be an idea to try almond milk.
Like soy milk, almond milk is a plant-based product and has no negative effects on the body. Again, you have to buy the unsweetened version. This contains only 0.5 grams of sugar per 100 mL.
So there are enough options to replace your morning glass of milk with.
The last one is a borderline case. Buttermilk is healthier than regular milk but still contains sugars.
People frequently say processed products are not healthy. And that is true in 99% of cases. It's an excellent rule to abide by when shopping for groceries.
There is, however, one exception:
Milk products become healthier when properly processed. And by that, I don't mean adding sugars and flavors. No, what I mean is that the products are fermented.
During the fermentation of milk, milk sugars are converted mainly into lactic acids by added lactic acid bacteria. As a result, sour milk products such as buttermilk, yogurt, and cottage cheese contain fewer sugars than the original milk products. Also, the lactic acid bacteria have a positive effect on your intestinal flora.
Buttermilk may be healthier than regular milk but that doesn't mean it is entirely sugar-free.
Buttermilk also contains about 4-5 grams of sugar per 100 ml. So drink it in moderation.
For example, by replacing your regular glass in the morning.
If you choose buttermilk, always go for the whole version and not the skimmed version!
Sugar-free drinks are a good start for diabetes type 2
With the healthy sugar-free drinks above, in addition to water, you will be able to reverse your type 2 diabetes faster. Do you have your healthy drinks under control? Then it's time to get started with your food.
Recently it has been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. And you can find everything you need to do this in your local grocery store.
You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It's something I call "The Diabetes-Free Secret". I have written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
Enter your e-mail address below, and I will send you the E-book for free.
PS: What sugar-free drinks do you drink to prevent blood sugar problems as a type 2 diabetic? Leave a comment below