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For anyone consuming alcohol—whether you have diabetes or not—the key word is moderation.

Can I drink alcohol if I have diabetes?

Most people can enjoy alcohol in moderation. But drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your health. Current guidelines recommend no more than two standard drinks a day for both men and women. For those who need to control or lose weight, it’s a good idea to cut down your intake. It is also best to drink alcohol with a meal or some carbohydrate-containing food.

Read more in our fact sheets:

One standard drink is: 285ml of regular beer, 375ml of mid-strength beer, 425ml of low-alcohol beer, 60ml of fortified wine, 100ml of wine or sparkling wine, 30ml of spirits.
A standard drink contains 10 grams (g) of alcohol. One standard drink is equal to:

  • 285ml of regular beer
  • 375ml of mid-strength beer
  • 425ml of low-alcohol beer (less than 3% alcohol)
  • 60ml of fortified wine
  • 100ml of wine or sparkling wine
  • 30ml of spirits.

The number of standard drinks in alcohol beverages is always shown on the label of the container. For more information see the standard drinks guide on the Department of Health’s website.

It is important to remember:

  • Alcohol has very little nutritional value and is high in energy.
  • There is no ‘safe way’ to use alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor or diabetes health professional about whether you might be at risk of alcohol- related hypos and if so, how to reduce your risk.
  • Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol on an empty stomach.

More information and support

  • For more information about alcohol and managing your diabetes, please call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 and ask to speak to a diabetes health professional.
  • Please speak to you GP if alcohol is a problem for you or you would like help to stop drinking.
  • If you need urgent help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

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