Chilly Summer Drinks for People Living with Diabetes

The summer is upon us and it's time to rejoice in deliciously refreshing cold fruit shakes and iced teas. However, if you have diabetes, you know how careful you must be in choosing what to eat and drink, especially those items containing sugar. You may also know that the many tantalizing summer refreshments sold at fast food restaurants are diabetes no-nos. For example, a TCBY Banana Berry Blast Off has 113 grams of carbohydrates, 110 of which are from sugar. This is not to single out this particular chain. The majority of fast food beverage options are comparably high in carbs.) The three yummy summer beverage recipes below--all from Mayo Clinic dietitians--are a great alternative to the sugary take-out options. These drinks are much lower in calories and carbs and have higher nutritional value. The amount of carbs in these recipes are 36 grams for the strawberry banana milkshake, only 7 for the blackberry iced tea, and 16 grams for the €˜island chiller.' Try them out!

Strawberry Banana Milkshake

(Serves 2) Ingredients:    
  • 6 frozen strawberries, chopped you can substitute 1 cup of sliced fresh peaches in place of the strawberries for an equally tasty treat.
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup fat-free vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 2 fresh strawberries, sliced
  1. In a blender, combine the frozen strawberries, banana, soy milk and frozen yogurt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into tall, frosty glasses and garnish each with fresh strawberry slices. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Analysis: (per serving)
Calories 175 Cholesterol 1 mg
Protein 7 g Sodium 61 mg
Carbohydrate 36 g Fiber 3 g
Total fat 2 g Potassium 545 mg
Saturated fat trace Calcium 151 mg
Monounsaturated fat 1 g

Blackberry Iced Tea with Cinnamon and Ginger

(Serves 6) Ingredients:
  • 6 cups water
  • 12 blackberry herbal tea bags
  • 8 3-inch-long cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice
  • Sugar substitute, to taste
  • Ice cubes, crushed
  1. In a large saucepan, heat water to just before boiling. Add tea bags, 2 of the cinnamon sticks and ginger. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for about 15 minutes.
  2. Pass the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve, placed over a pitcher. Add the juice and sweetener to taste. Refrigerate until very cold.
  3. To serve, fill 6 tall, chilled glasses with crushed ice. Pour the tea over the top of the ice and garnish with cinnamon sticks. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Analysis: (per serving)
Calories 30 Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Protein 0 g Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrate 7 g Sodium 0 mg
Total fat 0 g Fiber 0 g
Saturated fat 0 g

€˜Island Chiller'

(Serves 16) Ingredients:
  • 2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen unsweetened strawberries
  • 1 can (30 ounces) crushed pineapple with juice
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 2 quarts carbonated water, chilled
  • 16 fresh strawberries
  1. In a blender, combine the frozen strawberries, pineapple with juice and orange juice. Blend until smooth and frothy.
  2. Pour the strawberry mixture into ice cube trays and freeze.
  3. To serve, put 3 strawberry cubes into a tall glass and fill with 1/2 cup of the carbonated water. Wait until the mixture becomes slushy. Garnish with a strawberry and serve.
Nutritional Analysis: (per serving)
Calories 68 Cholesterol 0 mg
Protein 1 g Sodium 6 mg
Carbohydrate 16 g Fiber 1 g
Total fat 0 g Potassium 103 mg
Saturated fat 0 g Calcium 6 mg
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
These drinks are a much safer option for those with diabetes than those sold in fast food restaurants. However, no matter how careful a diabetic is about their diet, it is always imperative to take all medical precautions: follow all of your doctors directions for keeping track of your blood sugar and wear a medical ID bracelet or medical ID necklace in case of an emergency. Enjoy the chilly drinks!

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