I was not taking care of myself due to my busy work schedule. As my health took a back seat over the years, it slowly took its toll. I dealt with fatigue on a daily basis. My blood pressure was slowly climbing. My clothes didn’t fit as well. And then, I saw the pictures of me and my fiance. I cried – they were not happy tears.
I also have a family history of diabetes. It was time to do something about it immediately – for myself and my new husband. He needed me around for the next several decades and I wasn’t about to leave him so soon.
Juicing and Diabetes
As I began to consider different diets, I wanted to make sure I was getting the essential nutrients and antioxidants I needed for better health. I was also concerned that I wouldn’t be able to eat the quantity of fruits and vegetables I needed to get these nutrients. I didn’t want to take supplements if I didn’t have to. Most importantly, I wanted to shed the extra weight and lower my risk for diabetes. I decided to start a juicing plan.
At the same time, I was aware that drinking too many fruit juices can actually cause further issues with blood sugar spikes and weight gain. I had to create the right balance needed so that my health would improve without the possible risks of worsening my situation.
After much research on juicing and seeking out the best juices for diabetics, I incorporated juicing into my low carb, high protein, and high fiber diet.
Now 40 pounds lighter, I feel like a new person. Not only do I have more energy, but my blood pressure and blood sugars are in the perfect range.
How did I do it? I weighed the pros and cons of juicing and following some important rules.
Factors Diabetics Should Consider
If you have been told that juicing is out of the question because you are diabetic or at risk for diabetes, take heart. If you follow certain guidelines as I did, juicing can actually be a part of a balanced diet to improve your blood sugar levels. Be sure to follow this essential list of do’s and don’ts:
Juice as a Part of Your Diet
Only make juice a part of your balanced low carb diet. Do not replace meals with juices. Ideally, drink juice along with a meal so that you also get protein, fiber, and fat to balance out your blood sugar levels.
Lesser Is Better
Limit the amount of juice you drink each time to around 4 to 8 oz. This way, you won’t go overboard on the sugars and carbs.
Add Some Substance
One of the reasons that fruits and veggies in their whole form are better sources for nutrients and fiber is that during the juicing process, they often lose much of these nutrients. If you are worried about sacrificing important vitamins while juicing, there are some steps you can take:
- Use a Masticating Juicer – Masticating juicers do a more thorough job in breaking down the fruits and vegetables, therefore creating a more nutrient-rich juice.
- Keep the pulp – If you are concerned about the loss of fiber that occurs during juicing, you can re-use the pulp that is extracted from the fruits and veggies. Add it back into your juice, make it into smoothies, and/or incorporate it into soups or cooked food.
Make your focus on low carb, non-starchy vegetables as the main part of your juicing. Almost all of these include green, leafy veggies such as:
- Brussels sprouts
You can add fruits in moderation for sweetness such as a touch of green apple or kiwi. For even more sweetness without overdoing the sugar, beets and carrots are also a good source.
The Perfect Ratio
At least 80 percent of your juice should consist of veggies. Nutritional experts recommend the 80:20 ratio of vegetables to fruits.
(Non) Forbidden Fruits
Fruits are permissible in juicing but in small amounts compared to veggies (remember, 80:20). Furthermore, they should be fruits with a low glycemic index. These include:
- All berries (strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries)
- All citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes)
These fruits can help minimize the “veggie” taste which doesn’t appeal to everyone. They add a touch of sweetness without causing a spike in your blood sugar.
Spice It Up!
Add garlic, ginger, or cinnamon to your juice which helps regulate insulin response and keeps your blood sugars stable. You also get a nice little kick to your juice.
Can Juicing Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?
Along with a high protein, low carb diet, juicing can play an important role in helping to reverse Type 2 Diabetes.
One way it does this is by replenishing your body with nutrients lost from frequent urination, a symptom of type 2 diabetes.
While not a replacement for water, juice can help to keep you hydrated which is extremely important if you are diabetic.
It is important to keep in mind that you need to incorporate the right amounts of fruits and vegetables in your juice to get the desired results.
Don't Drink These Juices
While there are a good many fruit and vegetable juices you can drink if you’re diabetic, you also need to be aware of juices to avoid. These include:
Juices Sweetened with Sugar
Any kind of juice that has been sweetened with sugar such as fruit cocktail juices are a big no-no. That red fruit punch may bring back a million nostalgic memories, but it is like poison to your system. You would do well to keep that taste a distant memory for the sake of your health.
Canned or Boxed Juices
Most store-bought juices, especially concentrated juice in a can or juice boxes, contain staggering amounts of carbohydrates and sugar. It is best to avoid any juices from the store and control what you put in your juicer at home.
Any Fruit Juice in Excess
Drinking excessive amounts of pure fruit juice can cause major spikes in blood sugar levels. If you need that orange juice in the morning, stay within the 4 oz. limit and monitor your blood sugar levels.
3 Juice Recipes Recommended for Diabetics
Now that you know what juices to steer clear of, here are three recipes for some of the healthiest and best juices for diabetics:
Juice for Alkalization
- 2 stalks organic celery
- 1 organic cucumber
- 1 organic green apple
- 1 organic carrot
- 1 cup organic spinach
Alkalization is great for people with diabetes since alkaline helps manage insulin production. This juice is a perfect green and sweet source of alkaline foods which counteract the effects of acidity, another contributor to diabetes. If you want to lower the sugar content even more, you can skip the carrot. If you want a sweeter taste, add a small carrot.
Bursting with B6
- 10-12 organic brussels sprouts
- 2 cups organic string beans
- 1 organic cucumber
- 1 peeled organic lemon
Vitamin B6 helps with the stabilization of blood sugar. Brussels sprouts and string beans are perfect sources of B6.
Cleansing Root Juice
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 fennel
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 sweet potato
Another super food for diabetics is the sweet potato. This is one genius way to sweeten your juice while adding chromium, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Fennel in leafy vegetable form is low in fat and calories and contains compounds that may help with controlling diabetes.
When selecting produce to use in your juices, it is strongly recommended that you choose organic fruits and vegetables and avoid ingesting any chemicals and pesticides normally used in non-organic produce. For optimum health, make your juices as pure and untainted as possible.
A Summary of Juicing for Diabetics
We all know that the best source for nutrients is in whole fruits and vegetables. That said, if you are like me, it can be a little difficult to eat several cups of spinach or half a head of cabbage.
Any fruits and vegetables you can eat whole, do so. The next best way to get all of the blood sugar stabilizing nutrients you need is to add juicing to your diet.
Done responsibly and correctly, juicing can reverse your blood sugar levels, improve your life, and make you look and feel better than ever.