Juice can be good for diabetes, but care needs to be taken when you’re drinking juice. Storebought juice usually contain added sugar, so diabetics must go for raw, living juice for the most health benefits.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to know the amount of juice you are consuming and how that translates to carbohydrates.
For example, half a cup of orange, grapefruit or apple juice is equals to one serving or 15 grams of carbohydrate.
Also, it’s important to watch your blood sugar levels. Some types of juice (e.g. cranberry juice) are absorbed at a quicker rate and lead to a more rapid rise in blood sugar levels compared to others.
So while 100% juice is safe, you need to consider how it will fit in with your diet to improve your health.
Including fruit juices in meal planning, often eliminated by the diabetic, is an important part of daily nutrition.
Some things you need to know:
All juices contain carbohydrates and may affect blood sugar levels. How juice affects those levels is different for each individual and depends on the factors below:
- The amount you drink (or the amount of servings)
- Before or after meals (drinking on an empty stomach leads to a quicker spike in blood sugar levels)
- Sugar content (e.g. storebought juice usually contain added sugar)
- Fiber content (fiber slows down the conversion into blood sugar)
- Type of juice (some convert into blood sugar slower than others)
- Before or after exercise
- Before/after medication
100% juice with no sugar added are healthy drink choices for diabetics. Juice provides more calories and carbohydrates but also gives us the most important vitamins and minerals.
The key is to control portion sizes when you drink them. Half a cup will contain 15 grams of carbohydrates and 50 or more calories.
Going for low-sodium vegetable juice is a good, safe way to enjoy the benefits of juice. These usually have 50 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrates in 1 cup.
Avoid fruit juices as they contain high amounts of sugar in the form of fructose. If you wish to have fruit juice, dilute it (1 part juice, 3 parts water).
Orange juice, apple juice and pomegranate juice are some of the best juices for diabetic patients.
Orange juice, despite its high caloric load of sugars, appears to be a healthy food for diabetics due to its mother lode of flavonoids, a study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown (read more).
A new Israeli study suggests that pomegranate juice could offer health benefits for diabetics, despite the juice containing significant sugar concentrations (read more).
If you’re looking to buy a juicer, look at a cold press juicer. A cold press juicer slowly squeezes out juice from vegetables, giving your juice the full natural flavour and maximum nutrients. This is because the cold pressing method doesn’t produce any heat or friction, which can destroy enzymes and nutrients in produce.
Juice recipes for diabetics
Check out Diabetic Recipes – Juice Recipes (Part 1) for more recipes and list of ingredients that are the best for diabetics.
- 6 small carrots
- 1 brocoli
- 3 celery leaves
- 1 small cucumber
Carrots are great for helping to regulate blood sugar and add a lovely sweetness to juice, whereas cucumber help to reduce sugar in urine. These, along with broccoli could help to reverse damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels as it encourages the production of enzymes that protect blood vessels and reduce molecules that cause significant cell damage.
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 apples
- 2 carrots
- 4-5 kale leaves (or spinach)
- slice of ginger
- 1 lemon
Celery and its seeds may have a hypoglycemic effect, meaning they help reduce blood-sugar levels. Kale, spinach, and other leafy greens are also excellent for diabetes – they are loaded with vitamins such as folate, minerals such as magnesium, a range of phytonutrients and insoluble fiber, all of which have no impact on blood sugar level. The fiber in leafy greens also slow absorption of any carbohydrates they are paired with (e.g. potatoes, bread), resulting in a healthier overall glycemic load.
- 4 ripe tomatoes
- 1 cup of chopped green lettuce
Tomatoes have been linked to reducing cardiovascular risk associated with type 2 diabetes. The above is a simple juice recipe that’s excellent when extracted with a cold press juicer to make raw tomato juice, and will contain vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron and vitamin E.
Easy Vege Juice
- 4 small carrots
- 1 small bunch of spinach
Carrots are a good food choice for diabetics. They are non-starchy and lower in carbohydrates than most foods, and are rich in vitamins A and C. Add a bit of ginger to this juice if you want some ‘zing’ in your juice. Otherwise, carrot juice tastes nice and sweet as is (though it’s still low in sugar).
- 1/2 beetroot, peeled and sectioned
- 1 carrot
- 1 cucumber, sectioned
- some swiss chard
- 1 corn (grain)
- 1 tomato
- 1 lemon, peeled
Cucumber helps to lower blood sugar and blood pressure, whereas swiss chard has phytochemicals, therefore it helps to lower blood sugar and fight fatigue.
- 2 large carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 3/4 cup baby spinach
- 1/2 beet root
As mentioned above, carrots, celery and leafy greens like spinach are excellent for controlling blood sugar and high in nutrients. The Veg Dinner recipe is an excellent, nutrient-packed juice recipe that’s low in sugar and great in taste.
Beetroot is high in sugar but helpful in warding off fatigue. At the same time, the nitrates in red beet help in lowering the blood pressure of your body, thus keeping hypertension off the limits. Small to moderate helpings of beet root are sufficient to provide all the vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and fiber of the vegetable.
Do experiment with different combinations of leafy green vegetables and sweeter-tasting vegetables like carrots and cucumber to make your own perfect vegetable juice with your cold press juicer.
Have your own diabetic juice recipe? Share it with us in the comments section below.