People with type 2 diabetes and those who are at risk, or prediabetics, are required to monitor their blood glucose daily, exercise, manage stress, and make other lifestyle adjustments.
They have to eat sensibly, limit carbs and sugar intake, and read food labels to ensure they’re buying products that are diabetic friendly.
They also have to be careful to avoid consuming fruits high in sugars such as fructose and glucose.
Fruits and vegetables can be eaten raw and whole. They can be sliced, diced, or shredded and cooked. Others prefer to extract and drink the juice with or without the fibrous remains, also called the pulp.
Some nutritionists and dieticians believe juicing is a better way to consume fruits and vegetables.
This post explains what you need to know about juicing for diabetics. It explores what is juicing, types of juices good for diabetics, the advantages and disadvantages of juicing, and how you can get the best out of juicing without spiking your blood sugar.
What is Juicing?
Fruits and vegetables contain micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Some are also rich in antioxidants and healthy chemical compounds (phytonutrients). However, many people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables daily to get the Reference Daily Intake (RDI).
It could be because you don’t like eating these foods. So juicing is an alternative way to extract and drink the liquid rich in essential nutrients.
Juicing is the art of extracting the liquid or juice from fruits and vegetables by crushing, mashing, squeezing, or blending.
It can be done using a mortar and pestle, blender, juicing extractor, or food processor. Fruits and veggies can be juiced separately or together. They are then strained or drained to separate the juice from the pulp which contains dietary fiber and crushed seeds.
To avoid destroying the fragile nutrients, it is usually best to use them raw or uncooked.
Juicing and Diabetes Management
Diabetes is a chronic disease that develops when the body is unable to produce enough of the hormone insulin (insulin insufficiency) or cannot properly use insulin (insulin resistance). This slows down the movement of glucose from the bloodstream making it easier for blood sugar levels to rise.
To prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and diabetes-related health complications, diabetics and prediabetics need to manage their blood glucose daily.
Weight management is also important.
Eating healthy foods and controlling diabetes symptoms such as excessive hunger or thirst which can lead to overeating help to keep weight in check.
While juicing is a healthy and efficient way to get vital nutrients, e.g., vitamins C and iron, health experts do not recommend juicing for diabetics as a meal replacement plan but as part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
What Kind of Juice is Good for Diabetics?
Selecting the right fruits and vegetables for juicing is critical in promoting your health while preventing blood sugar problems.
Juices made from the following list of foods have a low glycemic index and are less likely to raise blood glucose when consumed in reasonable amounts at any given time:
- All citrus fruits
- Swiss chard
- Brussel sprouts
- All kinds of green leafy vegetables
Green leaf vegetables are excellent for juicing and are low in carbs and sugars. You can add beet, carrots, kiwi, or berries to flavor the juice. You can even add spices such as cinnamon which has anti-inflammatory properties that could help control blood glucose.
Diabetic-Friendly Juice Recipes
Armed with a juicer or juice extractor, you can quickly whip up these two diabetic-friendly juices, compliments of The Juice Authority. Don’t forget you can mix and match your preferred fruits and veggies.
Low Sugar Rush
- 4 leaves organic kale
- 5 stalks organic celery
- 1 organic cucumber
- ½ bunch organic parsley
- 3 cups organic spinach
Sugar Stabilizer Juice
- 1 peeled organic lemon
- 10-12 organic brussels sprouts
- 1 organic cucumber
- 2 cups organic string beans
What are the Benefits of Juicing for Diabetics?
The benefits of juicing fruits and vegetables are hardly doubted.
Juicing harnesses the micro-nutrients which you can easily drink. Some people even say their body feels healthy immediately after gulping down a juiced concoction.
When you juice, you can be sure to enjoy these benefits:
Preserve nutrients and enzymes
Cooking or applying heat to fruits and vegetables destroys some or most of the nutrients depending on how long they’re cooked and the cooking method, e.g., baking or stewing.
On the other hand, you retain most of the nutrients when you extract the juice from the raw produce.
A quick way to nourish the body
The extracted liquid is far more easily absorbed than eating the produce whole.
The nutrients are quickly absorbed by the body and supplied to the cells for nourishment instead of having to break down in the digestive system where they are then extracted and supplied to the body.
Opting for juice also gives your digestive system a break
Detoxifies the body
Being rich in antioxidants and important chemicals make these juices good for detoxifying or removing toxins from the body.
Antioxidants are known for the anti-inflammatory role they play in reducing inflammation in the body.
What are the Drawbacks of Juicing?
Some experts say juicing strips the foods of their fiber thereby raising their ability to spike blood sugar.
It also reduces the overall benefits due to these factors.
High in carbs and sugar
Some fruits and vegetables are rich in carbs and sugars. This means their juices can quickly raise blood sugar and lead to hyperglycemia if you drink too much.
You could experience symptoms such as dizziness, blurred vision, headache, or frequent urination. It may be wiser to get most of your nutrients from green leafy veggies and certain fruits low in natural sugars instead.
Can lead to weight gain
Weight gain has a negative impact on diabetes management. While non-diabetics can get away with a juice diet and not gain weight, juicing can cause you to gain weight easier.
It doesn’t mean you should avoid juices altogether.
Just regulate the amount you consume daily. The serving size will vary based on if you go for a fruit or vegetable juice or a combo.
Loss of fiber
It is believed that the dietary fiber found in fresh produce helps in the absorption of nutrients. The soluble fiber may help lower bad cholesterol level and control blood glucose because it keeps glycemic index low.
However, fiber is lost during the juicing process. It is either destroyed or discarded as pulp.
Not a balanced meal
Juicing can be a good way to manage weight. While it may aid weight loss, it may not support building or maintaining muscle mass.
This is because juices have little to no protein or fats unless you add the pulp back to the liquid or mix in protein powder to make a shake.
Not to mention, it can be an expensive lifestyle to maintain having to buy fresh organic produce a few times a week.
Is there a Difference Between a Juice Diet and Juicing?
A juice diet is a nutrition plan that focuses on getting nutrients more from a variety of juice while limiting calorie intake. Many people use it as a way to lose weight. It is similar to other liquid diets such as a soup diet.
Juicing is the process of extracting the nutrient-filled liquid from fruits and vegetables. It is just another method of getting the required nutrients.
Juicing may not be harmful unless it forms the base of your diabetic diet.
If you’re on a true juice diet, you’ll probably be drinking several glasses of juice which will end up spiking blood sugar, especially if it is more a fruit-based than vegetable-based diet.
By the way, if you’re in need of a juicer to get you going, here is a good starter option —
Other Benefits of Juicing
- Promotes healthy hair, skin, and nails
- Lowers cancer risk
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Aids digestion
- Boosts immune system
- Provides good bacteria to the gut
Is Juicing for You?
Eating raw vegetables and fruits allows you to get the beneficial fiber and all the other nutrients. Juicing is another healthy way to nourish the body.
It’s always best to speak with your health care provider who can help you decide based on your current condition and medical history.
If you’re given the green light, you can juice for diabetes by taking a responsible approach.
Keep in mind that your main goal is to prevent high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.
These tips may be helpful:
- Limit fruits to one serving
- Avoid fruits high in sugars
- You can go overboard on green leafy vegetables, e.g., spinach and kale
- Use non-starchy vegetables, e.g., celery, parsley, and cucumber
- Limit your juice intake to 4-8 ozs at a time
- Drink your juice with a balanced meal rich in protein, good fats, and fiber
What if I Don’t Have a Juicer?
I understand juicing can be a pain in the you know what.
- Leaving the house
- Going to your local market to buy what you need
- Blending it all together
- Cleaning up the mess
For when you need something to fill in the gap, Super Greens is a great choice.
At the time of this post, it sits as a #1 best seller on Amazon.
By now we know we need these superfoods in our diet every day. But if you don’t have the time, money or patience to shop, chop, and juice every day, then Super Greens is a great solution.
Balance Juicing with Eating Whole Fruits and Vegetables
There is really no right or wrong way to consume fresh produce.
The important thing is to get them into your diet to get the daily amount of nutrients your body needs to maintain your health.
If you have trouble controlling your blood sugar, it is important to balance juicing and eating the foods whole.
You could also consider juicing in moderation as well as using fruits with a low glycemic index, e.g., apples, oranges, pears, and berries.
It helps to mix vegetables and fruits instead of opting for fruits only. A ratio of 80% vegetables to 20% of fruits that are low in sugars can strike a perfectly healthy balance.