Being diabetic comes with its challenges. Since they have to manage their carbohydrate intake, diabetics constantly have to browse ingredient lists and nutritional labels to know what's in their food. One challenging area for diabetics to manage is beverages because there are a lot of drinks that contain huge amounts of sugar. But what about kombucha and diabetes? Can diabetics enjoy the taste and nutritional benefits of the drink? We're here to give you the facts about kombucha and diabetes.
What About Sugar?
Compared to other drinks like fruit juice and soda, kombucha has a much lower sugar content. However, when examining sugar levels in kombucha, it's important to look at two categories: store bought kombucha and homebrewed kombucha.
There is a huge variety of kombucha available at stores, but GT's stands out as the most popular brand in Canada. Since it's the most popular brand, we're going to examine the sugar content for various GT's kombuchas. Starting with the base model, a whole bottle of GT's Original Raw kombucha contains only 14 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of added sugar. However, since this is a kombucha that does not use any flavourings, it makes sense that it has the lowest sugar levels.
Looking at some of the more elaborate GT's kombuchas, a whole bottle of GT's Trilogy kombucha contains 12 grams of carbohydrates and 12 grams of sugar. Moreover, a bottle of GT's Black Chia kombucha contains 16 grams of total carbohydrates and 8 grams of sugar, but this kombucha also has 4 grams of fiber, which brings the net carbohydrate amount to 8 grams.
To put these numbers in perspective, an 8 fl oz serving of Coke, which is half a bottle of GT's kombucha, contains 27 grams of sugar. Thus, a lesser serving of Coke can contain upwards of three times the amount of sugar that is found in a bottle of kombucha that is double the size. Similarly, an 8 fl oz serving of Minute Maid Apple Juice contains 29 grams of carbohydrates and 26 grams of sugar.
It's clear that store bought kombucha contains a significantly fewer amount of calories compared to other common beverages, which makes it a smarter choice for diabetics. While there still is some sugar in kombucha, it is clearly a better option than the majority of beverages available, which makes kombucha and diabetes a good mix.
Homebrew for Lower Sugar Content
While it's impossible to control the sugar content in store bought kombucha, homebrew gives full control to the consumer. People who brew their own kombucha are able to control the amount and type of sugar that goes into their brew. Also, homebrewers are able to control the fermentation time, which greatly affects sugar content. A longer fermentation allows the microorganisms to consume more sugar, which will lower the sugar content in kombucha. However, it's important to not let the fermentation go too long or you'll have something that tastes more like vinegar rather than kombucha.
Thus, it may be wiser for diabetics to brew their own kombucha in order to ensure a lower sugar content. Now, this may seem like a daunting task to the beginner, but brewing your own kombucha is very simple. If you want to find out more about brewing your own kombucha, please visit our learn page.
Do Probiotics help with Diabetes?
When it comes to kombucha and diabetes, there are a lot of questions if the probiotics found in kombucha can actually help with diabetes and blood sugar control. It's no secret that the colony of healthy bacteria found in a person's gut affects a lot of things, including blood sugar levels. According to LiveScience, there have been some studies that show consuming probiotics lowered blood sugar levels over a three month period. There is also evidence that probiotics help you better digest your food and absorb crucial nutrients to live a healthier lifestyle.
While there are several foods that contain probiotics, kombucha is at the top of the list as it is packed full of healthy microorganisms that can help the body function better. Consequently, kombucha can be a good source of probiotics for diabetics that is also delicious and comes with a satisfying fizzy taste.
While there is evidence that kombucha and diabetes is a good mix, it is crucial to remember that moderation is key. Except for water, consuming large quantities of any liquid will often come with some negative effects. Kombucha is a good choice for diabetics since it contains lower levels of sugar and is packed full of probiotics, but that doesn't give anyone a free pass to only drink kombucha. Instead, enjoy kombucha in moderation and you'll fully harness all of its benefits.
If you're interested in brewing your own kombucha, please visit our shop page and take a look at our brewing kits. We make it easy for you to get started in the world of homebrewed kombucha.
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