Preparing freshly squeezed juice is a popular trend in the field of healthy lifestyles and proper nutrition, which over the past decade has become a multi-billion dollar industry. Fans of fresh juices emphasize the benefits of their use, ranging from losing weight, increasing nutrient intake, and facilitating the digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Although eating fresh juice can be beneficial to health, it may not be suitable for everyone, especially people with diabetes. In this article we will consider the scientific point of view on fresh juice and diabetes – the benefits or harm, it is safe or worth excluding.
What is Fresh Juice
Diabetes is a condition largely due to nutrition. Therefore, everything that you include in the diet in the presence of diabetes should be thoroughly tested for its usefulness and suitability for this disease.
Cooking freshly squeezed juice is the process by which liquid from food — usually from fruits or vegetables — is extracted and separated from the solid components.
The liquid – or juice – produced by this process contains many vitamins, minerals and vegetable compounds from fruits or vegetables, but little fiber.
There are many different ways to make juice, from simple to complex. Fresh juice can be bought at the grocery store or made at home.
Proponents of the juice making trend suggest that the benefits of homemade juice outweigh the benefits of store-bought varieties, as it is fresh and does not contain added sugars, artificial nutrients or preservatives.
Here are some of the most common ways to make juice at home:
– Manual. The easiest way to make juice is to squeeze the fruit with your hands or with a simple manual juicer. This method is often used to make a small amount of juice for basic recipes, such as shakes or salad dressings.
– Centrifugal. The centrifugal juice uses a juicer equipped with metal blades that rotate rapidly, pressing the pulp of fruit or vegetables to a filter that separates the juice from the solid components of food using centrifugal force.
– Cold press (chewing). Cold-pressed juicing methods use a juicer that chops fruits or vegetables to extract the juice.
It is believed that cold pressing is better than centrifugal juice preparation, because, as the name implies, the process does not generate heat, which can protect more heat-sensitive nutrients.
Regardless of how you decide to make juice, a fresh drink can be an effective way to increase nutrient intake from fruits and vegetables.
“Juices are the process of extracting nutrient-rich fluids from fruits and vegetables that remove most of the fiber.”
The potential benefits of juices in diabetes
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and herbal compounds that are known to reduce inflammation, prevent illness, and improve overall health. Research shows that eating fruit and vegetable juices can be an effective way to gain these valuable benefits.
In addition, many fruit and vegetable juices contain certain nutrients that act as prebiotics. The term “prebiotics” refers to certain types of carbohydrates that nourish the healthy bacteria that live in your intestines and promote digestion. A short-term study on 20 healthy adults showed that consuming 96 ounces (2.8 liters) of fresh juice per day for 3 days – with the exclusion of all other products – positively changed the composition of intestinal bacteria and contributed to weight loss for up to 2 weeks after dietary correction.
It is interesting to note that many of the tangible benefits of juice, such as improved nutrient intake and digestive health, are similar to those you get by simply eating more whole fruits and vegetables. Moreover, studies show that people who regularly drink unsweetened fruits and vegetarian juice also tend to eat more whole fruits and vegetables.
For some people, it may be easier to drink these nutrient-rich foods than to make healthy meals using fruit.
If you find it difficult to follow daily recommendations for fruits and vegetables, juices can be a viable option – provided that drinking juice does not force you to consume more calories than you need per day.
“Drinking fruit and vegetable juices can be a simple way to consume healthy nutrients and plant compounds, which potentially reduces the risk of disease and inflammation. However, this is unlikely to be more beneficial than eating foods in a consistent way.”
The main harm – fresh juice can raise blood sugar levels.
One of the main problems with the use of fresh juice is not the juice itself, but its ability to quickly increase blood sugar levels. This is especially important for people with diabetes.
Drinking 100% juice is not associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes, although this may not be the best choice for those who already have the disease.
Although juices are a concentrated source of beneficial nutrients, they are also a concentrated source of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. If you have diabetes, careful monitoring and control of carbohydrate intake is necessary to maintain a balanced blood sugar level. Maintaining a high fiber diet can slow the absorption of sugar from the gastrointestinal tract, reducing the overall blood sugar response.
Since most of the fiber is removed from fruits and vegetables during juicing, the sugars in these foods are consumed and absorbed more quickly, which leads to a rapid surge in blood sugar. For example, to make one cup (8 ounces or 237 ml) of fresh orange juice requires 2-3 whole oranges. Most people would agree that consuming this amount of orange juice is much easier and faster than peeling, slicing, chewing and swallowing a few whole oranges.
Thus, eating whole fruits, not just juice, leads to a slower and more controlled increase in blood sugar levels, in part because the process of consuming it takes longer. In addition, it is much easier to accidentally use up calories and sugar from juice than whole foods. Excessive calorie intake can contribute to weight gain and a consequent deterioration in blood sugar control over time.
“Fresh juices contain large amounts of carbohydrates in the form of sugar, which can contribute to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels – especially for people with diabetes.”
Contain little protein and fiber
Most juices are high in sugar, low in fiber and protein. This may be part of why drinking juice leads to a negative sugar reaction in people with diabetes. Studies show that eating high-fiber foods and high-protein snacks can help curb the blood sugar response and increase the feeling of satiety.
Because of this, the overall dietary strategy used to improve diabetes control is to combine foods high in carbohydrates, such as juice, with other foods that contain fiber and protein.
Although the carbohydrate content varies depending on the type of fruit or vegetables used in a particular juice, the serving size of 100% fruit juice is usually 0.5 cups (4 ounces or 119 ml) – a serving size that is easily exceeded. Conversely, when you eat carbohydrates from whole foods, portion sizes are usually larger. This allows you to eat more and feel more satisfied, as whole foods contain more nutrients, such as fiber and protein. Protein is the most nutritious macronutrient, and adding protein sources to foods and snacks can help you limit your total calorie intake, and then lower your blood sugar.
If you plan to drink juice, eating a source of protein and fiber — for example, a small amount of almond — can help lower blood sugar levels. Most juices do not have enough fiber and protein, two nutrients that might otherwise help lower blood sugar levels.
How to drink fresh juice for diabetes
It is easy to drink too much juice, which can contribute to poor blood sugar control in people with diabetes. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce the potential negative effects of drinking juice.
Choose low-carb juices
Using fruits and vegetables that are low in carbohydrates in juices can help minimize the blood sugar response.
Try mixing low-carb options such as cucumber, lemon or lime with fruit juices to reduce total carbohydrate content. Alternatively, consider discarding fruits and drink only vegetarian juices made with non-starchy vegetables, such as celery, spinach, cabbage and tomatoes. If you buy juices instead of making them at home, be sure to avoid juices with added sugar, as they can impair blood sugar control.
Focus on the part of management
Monitoring servings of all carbohydrate-rich foods is an important component of any diabetes diet, and juice is no exception. A serving size of 100% fruit juice is usually 0.5 cups (4 oz. Or 119 ml). By paying close attention to how much carbohydrate you drink from the juice relative to the total amount of carbohydrates that you consume in other foods during the day, you can control your blood sugar levels.
Maintain nutritional balance
Juices, as a rule, are not in themselves a balanced source of nutrition, as they often lack fiber, protein and fat.
Eating foods that contain other nutrients along with the juice will create a more balanced composition of the nutrients in your overall diet and can help reduce the blood sugar response. For example, you can try a smoothie instead of juice, so as not to miss the fiber.
When you mix fruits and vegetables to make a smoothie, fiber collapses, but it is still present in the final product. This makes it a more balanced nutritional choice than juice. In addition, protein powders and beneficial sources of fat, such as avocados, can be easily added to smoothies.
You may also want to have a boiled egg or a handful of nuts and juice to add healthy fats and proteins to the mix for a more balanced snack or meal. Choosing juices with a smaller amount of carbohydrates, paying attention to the size of servings, including a large amount of healthy fats, proteins and fiber, will help minimize any negative effects that drinking juice can have on blood sugar levels.
Should I start juicing if you have diabetes?
Whether juices are suitable for a diabetic diet plan depends on the person.
If you have diabetes, how your blood sugar level reacts to food and drink is different because of your unique genetic and biochemical composition. If your diabetes is poorly controlled, juices are probably not a good option right now. Instead, you can use other ways to include whole vegetables and fruits in your diet.
If your diabetes is well controlled, adding a small amount of low-sugar juice to your diet may be appropriate. However, it is important to continue to closely monitor blood sugar levels when you enter this dietary change.
In general, the best approach is to consult with a nutritionist or other qualified practitioner to help you develop a nutrition plan that takes into account your unique nutritional needs.
If your blood sugar is not properly controlled, juices can make you feel worse. If you currently have good diabetes control, a small amount of fresh juice may be a healthy choice, but you should carefully monitor your body’s response to this change in nutrition.
Juices are becoming an increasingly popular and effective way to consume healthy nutrients in fruits and vegetables.
Although fresh juices may be useful for some people, they may not be an excellent choice for people with diabetes because of their high sugar content and high blood sugar levels.
Choosing a larger amount of vegetable-based juices and paying attention to serving sizes are ways that can help reduce the sugar response in the blood after drinking the juice. If you have diabetes and are interested in adding juice to your diet, consult a nutritionist to develop a plan that meets your unique nutritional needs.