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Is Lemonade Good for Diabetes? Read This Before Drinking It
Diabetes

Is Lemonade Good for Diabetes? Read This Before Drinking It

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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 28
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4 min

Many people like to drink lemonade, especially when they need something sweet and refreshing. But can lemonade actually cause those horrible blood sugar spikes? We explain if lemonade is safe for those who have diabetes and how you can make your own beverage.

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So, you want to know if lemonade is healthy?

Lemonade is a sweetened lemon-flavored beverage that benefits anyone with regular sugar cravings. You can make your own, but most people would find lemon soda in their local grocery store. This drink might sound delicious and even healthy due to the natural lemon juice.

Drinks with high sugar content are not good for certain health conditions. Lemonade is one of those beverages that could raise blood sugar, depending on how much you have. That’s why we’re here to discuss if drinking lemonade is advantageous for diabetes management.

Is Lemonade Good for Diabetes?

Lemonade is a sugary drink that might not be good for diabetes. This only applies to store-bought lemonade with high amounts of added sugars. You should make your own beverage at home using lots of water and freshly-squeezed lemons.

Most carbonated drinks can ruin your diabetes-friendly diet. They might taste delicious and satisfy your sweet tooth, but they don’t offer many health benefits. One cup of lemonade won’t worsen diabetes unless you go overboard with the store-bought version.

Too much lemonade can also trigger symptoms like increased thirst, fatigue, muscle weakness, and frequent urination. This is due to high blood sugar levels that negatively affect the body. Always drink more water if you have diabetes and opt for more natural lemon-flavored drinks.

Will Lemonade Raise Your Blood Sugar?

Added sugar is packed into every bottle of lemonade, which may increase your blood sugar level. The body rapidly absorbs glucose into the bloodstream. To avoid this major side effect of drinking lemonade, make your own or find sugar-free alternatives.

Even though lemonade contains lots of sugar, it also holds a great number of carbohydrates. This ingredient isn’t particularly good for someone who needs to manage their blood glucose. Any type of carbohydrate is broken down and released as glucose in your bloodstream. 

People who drink 1–2 servings of sugary drinks a day have a 26% higher risk of developing diabetes. This is because lemonade constantly increases your blood sugar levels. You can also experience insulin resistance – a state in which your cells don’t respond properly to insulin.

Just remember that one cup of lemonade now and then is fine. You could have lemon water instead, which keeps you hydrated and supports weight loss. Fresh lemon slices contain a range of vitamins, like vitamin C and B1, which are good for diabetes management.

Nutritional Value of Lemonade

Lemonade doesn’t have many nutrients that support your overall health. It only focuses on the high sugar and carb content, which could ruin a diabetes diet. You can look at the nutritional worth of lemonade and whether it dramatically affects your insulin and glucose levels. 

Below, you’ll find the nutritional value of lemonade per 100 grams

Net CarbsTotal CarbsFatsProtein
12.1g12.1g0g0g
CaloriesFiberSugarsGlycemic Index
460g11.7g54

Glycemic Index of Lemonade

The glycemic index of lemonade is 54. Most people consume foods or beverages that are below 55 on the GI scale. Even though lemonade counts as a low-glycemic drink, it can still raise blood pressure and the amount of sugar produced in your bloodstream. 

People with type 2 diabetes should aim to consume low GI products. This can help lower blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. You could try the ketogenic diet, which involves eating low-carb foods that don’t contain saturated fats and added sugars.

The keto diet is supposed to be good for managing diabetes. A lack of carbs will prevent sugar absorption in your blood. You can also eat lots of diabetes superfoods on the keto diet, like lemons (not lemonade), green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and fish high in omega-3s. 

How to Drink Lemonade for Diabetes?

The best way to drink lemonade is by making it at home. This ensures you’re not adding sugar or other ingredients that raise insulin levels. Just make sure not to go overboard with drinking homemade lemonade and aim to have it no more than twice a week. 

There’s no specific way to drink lemonade for diabetes management. You can have one or half a cup when feeding your sweet tooth, but don’t exceed that recommended amount. Drinking too many sugary beverages in one day might increase the risk of heart disease and kidney stones.

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Lemonade might be a refreshing beverage for some people. That doesn’t mean you should drink it when reducing diabetes-related symptoms. A healthy lifestyle involves eating plenty of citrus fruits, like key limes, fresh lemons, or oranges, for better metabolic control. 

How to Make Lemonade at Home

There are 4-ingredient home recipes for making fresh lemonade. All you need is lemons, fresh lemon peels, a low-calorie sweetener, and water (sparkling if you prefer). You can simply mix these together and make your own lemonade free of unhealthy sugars. 

The first step is to squeeze the lemon juice into a bowl. If you want to make a large batch, squeeze at least 8–10 lemons in one go. Once you’ve done that, add 3 cups of cold sparkling water and one cup of your chosen sweetener, proceeding to mix that until everything is combined. 

How much lemon you add is completely your choice. Some people might like the bitter flavor, and others could tone it down. This recipe is versatile and can be perfect for those who have diabetes. Just make sure to add a sweetener that is natural and low in calories. 

A Word From Our MD

Lemonade might not be the best option for people who want to control blood sugar levels.

This sugary beverage doesn’t have any soluble fiber, meaning it doesn’t benefit your digestive system. Dietary fiber is the number one nutrient that slows down sugar absorption after eating or drinking, so it’s better to find other drinks containing lots of essential nutrients.

You can make your own lemonade or lemon water. The high amounts of vitamin C decrease levels of fasting blood sugar. This will minimize any blood sugar spikes that arise from eating high-sugar foods. Everyone needs at least 70–90mg of vitamin C a day to stay healthy.

Speak to a doctor if you struggle to make lifestyle changes. A healthcare provider can offer advice on how to follow high-fiber diets containing diabetes superfoods. You can learn about healthy eating and why drinking lemonade is known to erode tooth enamel.

Conclusion

So, is lemonade actually good for diabetes?

You should avoid drinking lemonade, as it might cause obesity-associated metabolic disorders or certain heart diseases. This can pose a serious threat to your long-term health. Instead, have lemon water that contains lots of vitamin C and try to follow a diet that incorporates fiber.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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