Juicing and Diabetes

Juicing and Diabetes

by: Sharon Carter, staff writer

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Contrary to popular belief, juicing and diabetes can work well together provided you pay close attention to your blood sugar levels and the fruits or vegetables that you use in your juices. To start, a basic understanding of fruits and vegetables is key.

Although incredibly healthy, everything in the produce section contains carbohydrates and sugars, which can cause a diabetic’s blood sugar levels to get too high. The key to making juicing and diabetes work is to understand what fruits and vegetables are lower in sugars and carbohydrates, and therefore safer to consume.

The best way to start is to simply use your taste buds. Even if you don’t automatically categorize something as sweet, it doesn’t mean it isn’t. You likely know pears, bananas, and even apples are pretty high in sugar and should be avoided if your blood sugar levels are already up there. However, carrots, beets, and even bell peppers can be too high in sugar and carbs for certain people or on certain days, and should be used carefully when juicing.

Just because you have diabetes does not mean you have to only juice spinach, cabbage, broccoli, or other low-sugar, low-carbohydrate vegetables. Making sure that your juicing recipe contains a fair amount of soluble fiber to make up for higher carbohydrate produce items (i.e., the ones that taste the best) can give you all of the benefits of juicing without overly spiking your blood sugar levels. You can also add water to your juice to help “water down” the concentrated juice.

For example, blend a mix of greens and cucumbers with an apple or pear: you’ll get the slightly sweet flavor you crave with a hefty dose of fiber to balance it all out. To increase fiber intake, always use the peels of the fruits and vegetables in your juicing recipes if possible.

As with anything, always discuss juicing and diabetes with your doctor to ensure you remain healthy and happy.

Here are a couple examples of sugar balanced juicing recipes: 

Tomato Celery Cucumber Broccoli Garlic

  • 1 large tomato
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1-2 cups of broccoli including the stems
  • 1 clove of garlic

Apple Cabbage Celery

  • 2 Granny Smith Apples
  • ¼ head of white cabbage
  • ¼ head of red cabbage
  • 2 stalks of celery