Does juicing help diabetics?

For people with diabetes, diet and nutrition play a critical role in managing blood sugar levels. Juicing, which extracts the liquid from fruits and vegetables, has become a popular way to increase consumption of nutrients. But does juicing actually help diabetics? This comprehensive guide examines the potential benefits and drawbacks of juicing for diabetics.

What is Juicing?

Juicing refers to extracting the liquid from fruits and vegetables, leaving behind the solid fiber pulp. This is typically done by pushing the produce through a juicer machine. The resulting juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals from the fruits and veggies. However, the fiber is removed.

Juicing makes it easier to consume large quantities of produce quickly. For example, you might juice 6 carrots, 5 celery stalks, a beet, a handful of kale and an apple all at once. It may be difficult to eat all of that volume of produce, but it’s easy to drink it as a juice.

Potential Benefits of Juicing for Diabetics

There are several potential benefits that make juicing appealing for diabetics:

  • Increased vegetable intake – Juicing makes it easier to consume the recommended 5-9 servings of produce per day, which is especially important for diabetics.
  • Greater variety of nutrients – By mixing various fruits and veggies, juicing allows for a wider range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • Support blood sugar regulation – Some fruits and veggies contain nutrients that help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Lower calories – Juices tend to be lower in calories than blended smoothies when no added sugars are used.
  • Reduce inflammation – Certain fruits and veggies contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce inflammation linked to chronic illness.
  • Aid hydration – The high water content in juice can help diabetics stay hydrated.

Let’s explore some of these benefits in greater detail:

Increased Vegetable Intake

Getting adequate produce is especially important for diabetics. Fruits and vegetables are full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation and provide antioxidants.

However, many people struggle to eat the recommended 2-4 servings of fruit and 3-5 servings of vegetables each day. Juicing makes it much easier to consume several servings in one sitting.

For example, a 12 oz glass of vegetable-based juice may contain the equivalent of 2-3 servings of produce.

Greater Variety of Nutrients

When making juice, you can mix together a variety of ingredients like spinach, kale, carrots, apples, beets, ginger and more. This allows you to obtain a wide range of complementary nutrients:

  • Vitamin A from carrots and kale
  • Vitamin C from citrus fruits and peppers
  • Iron from spinach and chard
  • Magnesium from beet greens
  • Antioxidants from blueberries and cherries

Drinking a diversity of veggies and fruits in juice form is an easy way to cover all your nutritional bases.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Some research indicates juices made from vegetables and low-glycemic fruits may help regulate blood sugar in diabetics. This is attributed to specific nutrients and compounds:

  • Fiber – Helps slow digestion and sugar absorption.
  • Magnesium – Improves insulin sensitivity.
  • Antioxidants – Reduce oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Polyphenols – May inhibit digestive enzymes to slow sugar release.

One study in overweight men and women found that drinking 16 oz of celery juice daily for 12 weeks reduced fasting blood glucose by an average of 16% (1).

Lower in Calories

Juice made only from vegetables and low-sugar fruits like berries tend to be low in calories. This makes them a healthy alternative to blended fruit smoothies and sweetened juices that can spike blood sugar.

For example, 8 oz of orange juice contains 112 calories. A veggie juice with kale, cucumber, celery and lemon has just 46 calories (2).

Reduced Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is common in those with diabetes. Compounds in fruits and vegetables called polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties that may help combat this.

For instance, pomegranate juice is high in tannins and anthocyanins that have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in diabetics (3).


Staying hydrated is vital for diabetics, as high blood sugar causes fluid loss. Drinking vegetable juice is an easy way to hydrate while also getting nutrients. Limit high-sugar fruit juice, and avoid drinking juice in place of water completely.

Potential Drawbacks of Juicing for Diabetics

While juicing has some benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to be aware of:

  • Blood sugar spikes – Fruit/veg combinations may spike blood sugar.
  • Fiber removed – Lack of fiber can cause blood sugar spikes.
  • Nutrient loss – Some nutrients are degraded by juicing process.
  • Quickly absorbed – Juices digest faster than whole foods.
  • High fruit juice – Even no-sugar-added juices can be high in natural sugars.
  • Addictive – Fructose in fruit juice can be addictive.
  • Rapid intake – Easy to consume more calories and sugars in juiced form.
  • Tooth enamel erosion – Acids in juice can erode tooth enamel.

Let’s explore some of the major drawbacks of juicing in more detail:

Blood Sugar Spikes

While vegetable juices are generally low glycemic, fruit-based juices and certain produce combinations can cause blood sugar spikes.

Carrots and beets, for instance, are higher glycemic veggies. Combining them with low glycemic items like leafy greens helps balance blood sugar response.

Fruit juice spikes blood sugar even more dramatically due to the high fructose content. A study found that a 8 oz serving of apple juice increased blood sugar by 140% in diabetics (4).

Lack of Fiber

Juicing removes the fiber content of fruits and vegetables. Fiber is crucial for slowing digestion and controlling blood sugar spikes.

Without fiber, sugars and nutrients enter the bloodstream rapidly. This can potentially lead to energy crashes and rising blood sugar in diabetics.

Nutrient Loss

Some vitamins like vitamin C are degraded through the juicing process due to heat and oxygen exposure. The longer juice sits before drinking, the greater the nutrient deterioration.

For maximal nutrition, drink juice immediately. Still, juicing likely provides more overall nutrients than eating cooked foods, where heat degrades vitamins as well.

Ideal Juices for Diabetics

The optimal juices for diabetics focus on low sugar vegetables, high fiber produce and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Here are some of the best options:

Green Juices

These green juices are packed with antioxidants and polyphenols that may help lower inflammation and blood sugar:

  • Spinach, kale, cucumber, celery, lemon
  • Kale, broccoli, avocado, lime, ginger
  • Romaine, cilantro, celery, cucumber, lime
  • Collard greens, parsley, bell pepper, basil, lemon

Root Vegetable Juices

These juices provide blood sugar regulating minerals like magnesium and potassium:

  • Carrots, beet, ginger
  • Celery root, parsnip, spinach, dill
  • Sweet potato, carrots, parsley, cinnamon

Cruciferous Veggie Juices

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are full of antioxidants:

  • Broccoli, celery, cucumber, lemon
  • Cabbage, carrot, tomato, basil
  • Cauliflower, kale, mint, apple

Anti-Inflammatory Juices

These juices contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds:

  • Pineapple, turmeric, ginger, basil
  • Blueberries, kale, mint
  • Pomegranate, lemon, spinach

Tips for Diabetics Juicing

Here are some tips to make juicing work better for diabetics:

  • Focus on low sugar vegetables for most juices like leafy greens, celery and cucumber.
  • Always add high fiber veggies like broccoli and cabbage to balance blood sugar.
  • Only add small amounts of low glycemic fruits like berries and green apples.
  • Avoid high sugar produce like grapes, mangos and bananas.
  • Drink juice in small 4-8 oz portions, not large amounts.
  • Consume juice alongside protein, fat and fiber like nuts or chia seeds to slow absorption.
  • Don’t replace meals with juice, use as a nutrient dense supplement instead.
  • Don’t drink only fruit juice, choose vegetable-based juices.
  • Juice produce with skins and peels when possible to retain fiber.
  • Aim for limited 4-6 oz fruit juice portions, not large amounts.
  • Always monitor blood sugar closely when trying new juices to see impact.

Example Juicing Plan for Diabetics

Here is a 3 day sample juicing plan for diabetics showcasing delicious recipes that provide a variety of nutrients:

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
1 cup Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
4 oz beet, carrot, orange juice
Veggie omelette
4 oz green juice
Overnight oats with chia seeds, almond milk and berries
4 oz pomegranate juice
Sliced apple with 1 tbsp peanut butter

Hard boiled egg
4 oz celery juice
Small green salad with lemon juice dressing
Quinoa salad with mixed greens, avocado and chicken
Veggie and hummus wrap
4 oz pineapple, spinach, kale juice
Grilled salmon with broccoli
Berry smoothie with spinach, almond milk and protein powder
Turkey roll-ups

4 oz green juice
Cottage cheese and flax crackers
Chicken stir fry with broccoli and bell peppers over quinoa
Grilled chicken with ratatouille
Chili with mix of veggies and beans over cauliflower rice

Should Diabetics Juice?

Juicing can be a healthy tool for diabetics when done properly, but there are pros and cons to consider.

Potential benefits:

  • Increase produce and nutrient intake
  • Lower inflammation
  • Support blood sugar regulation
  • Promote weight loss
  • Improve hydration

Potential drawbacks:

  • Blood sugar spikes
  • Rapid absorption and energy crashes
  • Tooth decay
  • Loss of fiber
  • Oxidation of nutrients

When preparing juices, diabetics should focus on low sugar vegetables, add anti-inflammatory ingredients like turmeric and avoid high glycemic produce like pineapple and mango.

Juice is best consumed alongside other whole foods and proteins to help control blood sugar response. Small 4-6 oz portions spaced throughout the day may fit into a healthy diabetes diet when blood sugar is properly managed.


Juicing can provide important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants for diabetics when done strategically. Focus on low sugar veggies, anti-inflammatory foods and small portions. Avoid relying solely on juicing and remove produce fiber completely. Monitor blood sugar closely and consult a doctor, especially when introducing new ingredients like fruits into juice recipes.

Overall, juicing may supplement a diabetes diet but shouldn’t replace whole, fiber-rich produce that helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.

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