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Juicing and Diabetes Control

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I’ve heard a lot of hype about juicing lately which got me thinking about juicing and diabetes control. Seriously,a lot of people are stating that juicing is a more effective way to get our essential nutrients from fruit and vegetables without all the fiber.

I must admit, until I researched this information I was completely unaware of juicing.

Oh I know you can buy juice at the stores, but I didn’t realize there was a whole industry catered to people making their own juices from fruit and vegetables.

As the grandmother of a type 1 diabetic, I like to be informed and if making juice is going to help better manage Alex’s diabetes then I’m all for it.Juicing and Diabetes Control

I need to get the facts first.

What exacting is juicing?

Why would someone juice?

How do I make juice from vegetables?

Is juicing safe for diabetics?

I know, that is a ton of questions. Let’s check the answers I found to those questions.

What is juicing

Juicing is the process of removing liquid or juice from the fiber or pulp of fruit or vegetables.

The juice extracted contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant compounds but without the fiber.

Many juicers claim this is easier to digest than eating the whole fruit or vegetable.

There are a few different ways to make juice:

By hand – this method has been around for years and is popular if only making a small amount of juice for salad dressings or cocktails

Centrifugal – this uses a machine with metal blades that very quickly spin and force the flesh of the fruit or vegetable against a filter that separates the juice from the fiber. This uses what is called centrifugal force.

Cold press (masticating) – in cold press juicing the fruit or vegetable is crushed to release the juice.

The cold press method seems to be preferred because the process does not create heat which would then protect any heat-sensitive nutrients.

Whatever method you choose, it can be a delicious, effective way to increase your intake of nutrients from fruit and vegetables.

Benefits

We are all aware that fruit and vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need to maintain good health by reducing inflammation, and preventing disease.

Another benefit is that many fruit and vegetables juices contain certain nutrients known as prebiotics.

Prebiotics refers to specific compounds in food that induces the growth of certain beneficial bacteria essential for our GI health.

Were you aware that you could actually gain similar benefits simply by eating more fruits and vegetables.

Some people really do find it easier to drink these nutrients but do keep in mind that there is very little evidence to support drinking vegetables and fruit over eating them.

May spike blood glucoseJuicing and Diabetes Control

The issue with juicing and diabetes control is that juice offers the potential to quickly, significantly raise blood glucose levels.

Drinking juice may not cause diabetes but for those who have already been diagnosed it may not be the best choice.

Removing the fiber from fruit and vegetables concentrates nutrients within the juice, it also concentrates the carbs and sugars within that juice.

Diabetics need to monitor their carb intake in order to help balance their blood glucose levels.

Eating a high-fiber diet can slow the rate of absorption of sugar from your digestive tract thus reducing blood sugar spikes.

The process of juicing removes this necessary fiber thereby making the rate of absorption much faster which can result in very fast blood sugar spikes.

High blood glucose levels can lead to DKA which is a medical emergency.

Eating the whole fruit rather than just the juice is far better for diabetics because of necessary fiber intake.

Another thing to consider is it is way too easy to consume too many calories from juice because it is not as filling as the whole fruit or vegetable.

Over time, consuming too many calories will result in weight gain which can cause further problems managing diabetes.

If you are considering juicing, I highly recommend working closely with your diabetes care team.

Contains very little fiber and protein

Most juices contain high amounts of sugar and very little protein and fiber which are essential for diabetes management.Juicing and Diabetes Control - handful of almonds

Eating meals and snacks that are high in fiber and protein will not only help you feel full, reducing the chances of over-eating, but also aid in stabilizing blood sugars.

With our grandson we always pair fruit and veggies with a protein to help keep him balanced.

If you plan on having a juice be sure to pair a protein, such as a handful of almonds, with it.

Strategies for the diabetic juicerJuicing and Diabetes Control - carrot juice

you must juice, be cautious because juice is not as filling as the whole fruit or vegetable and this makes it much easier to overeat.

Choose lower carb juices. What that means is make your juice with vegetables rather than fruit.

Try mixing a small bit of fruit with vegetables for a tasty lower-carb option.

Focus on portion control and only consume 4-8 oz of juice.

Be sure to pay close attention to the number of carbs you consume through juice. It will have an effect on your blood glucose levels, so be check your blood sugars frequently.

A better option for diabetics would be a fruit and vegetable smoothie instead of juice. This is because in a smoothie the fiber is left in the juice and mixed thoroughly.

Final thoughts

There is no solid evidence that juicing is healthier than eating whole fruit and vegetables.

If you are diabetic and considering juicing be sure to work closely with your diabetic care team as juicing will affect your blood glucose levels.

Try smoothies made with vegetables and fruit rather than juice as they contain necessary fiber.

If you must then juice stick to mainly vegetable juices made with cucumber, kale, spinach, tomatoes, celery.

Carefully watch your portion sizes to avoid overeating.

Frequently monitor your blood glucose levels, watch out for those blood sugar spikes and be sure to take all medication as prescribed by your doctor.

Remember, high blood sugars can lead to DKA which is a medical emergency.

What experience do you have with juicing?

Did Your blood sugars spike?

Share your experiences in the comment section below.


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Deborah

4 Comments

  1. Oooh juicing sounds quite complicated if you´re a diabetic. Not only do you have to keep a count of the carbs so as not to overeat but you also have to make sure to eat a protein at the same time to balance things out. I´ve always believed that a whole fruit or veg has to be better for you, diabetic or not. Plus, you´d cut down on washing up too! Thanks for this insightful post 🙂

    • Hi Susan. I completely agree that it is better to eat a whole fruit or vegetable. Yes, it would save some time to clean up as well. I also believe it would save money. It takes more fruit or vegetables to make juice then it does to just eat them as is. Living with diabetes is definitely a balancing act. Take care.

  2. Hi Deborah!
    I’m personally not a diabetic, but I always care how much sugar I consume. I make my own juice sometimes, I don’t like to buy a juice from a supermarket because it has a lot of sugar! I like more vegetable juice, for example carrot is one of my favourite. And I also like to mix almond milk with banana in blender, it has a lot of fiber left.
    Thank you for this post!
    Alex

    • Hi Alex, I am glad you watch your sugar intake even though you are not diabetic. That will not only help you maintain good health, and healthy weight but may even help prevent developing type 2 diabetes in the future. We tend to enjoy eating whole fruits and vegetables rather than juicing because I believe fiber is an important part of our diet that shouldn’t be excluded. I wish you good health.

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