Can Diabetics Drink Fruit Juices?
Until recently fruit juice has been considered a good way to get your 5 A Day. People suffering from diabetes need to moderate their fruit juice intake because larger glasses of juice can significantly raise blood sugar levels. Additionally, more recently, regular consumption of fruit juice has been linked to a rise in type 2 diabetes risk.
What’s really contained in orange juice?
Fruit juice contains vitamin C and calcium but aside from that, it also contains:
• Calories. One glass (250ml) of unsweetened orange juice usually contains around 100 calories, compared to the 60 calories in an actual Orange.
• Fructose (which is a form of sugar). One glass (about 200ml) of fruit juice contains more sugar than the World Health Organisation recommends ideally having in a day (30g of sugar for men, 24g for women).
• A Lack of Fiber. Yes, the truth is that juice always contains less fiber compared to the fruit and highly processed juices may not contain any fiber.
So how exactly does this affect my diabetes?
The short answer is BADLY. Sugar levels in fruit juice can result in a substantial increase in blood sugar levels, raising the risk of hyperglycemia. The glycemic index, which is used to reflect the impact on blood sugar levels of individual foods, places orange juice between 66 – 76 out of 100. As we mention above juice doesn’t offer much fiber because it’s stripped away in the juicing process. Fiber enhances your ability to metabolize blood glucose in a number of surprising ways, which can lower your risk of developing diabetes. Soluble fiber can help lower your cholesterol levels and improve blood glucose control if eaten in large amounts. Apples, Oranges, and Pears all contain soluble fiber (but not when juiced).
Is fruit juice all bad for diabetes patients?
However, fruit juice has some benefits for those with diabetes. Apart from the high sugar content, it is an excellent source of nutrients like for example vitamin C. A newly released study on sugary drink consumption and premature cell aging discovered a link between fruit juice and longer telomeres. Telomeres are protective DNA on the end of cell chromosomes. For a longer time telomeres are usually associated with longer cell lifespan, whereas short telomeres have been linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. The relatively high GI and high sugar content of fruit juice make it useful for raising blood sugar levels, in a case of hyperglycemia.
Does drinking fruit juice increase the risk of diabetes?
A study carried out in 2013 suggested that having three servings of fruit juice per week was associated with an 8 % rise in diabetes risk. On the other hand, consuming blueberries, grapes, apples and pears lessens the risk. The researchers discovered that replacing fruit juices with three helpings of certain whole fruits per week would reduce the risk by 7 %. Several whole fruits lowered the risk greater than others. For grapefruits and bananas, there was a 5 % decrease, while blueberries reduced the risk by 26 %.
Now the question is, should diabetic patients drink juice?
While juice can be okay when used moderately, avoid drinking it excessively. However whole fruits and vegetables are more advisable. There’s less sugar, fewer calories, and more fiber which makes them a better choice for those who have diabetes. That said, juice doesn’t have to be ruled out altogether, and the sugar content and calories can be useful in certain situations.
What about vegetable juice?
Juiced non-starchy veggies have a lower glycemic index and also contain a smaller amount of carbohydrates compared to juiced fruit. The glycemic index of whole vegetables is lower still. Just like fruit, the amount of the fiber from whole veggies will probably be lost throughout the juicing process. Juiced vegetables can play a part in a healthy diet, especially if juiced vegetables do not wholly replace having whole vegetables.