What kind of juicing is good for diabetics?

Juicing can be a healthy way for people with diabetes to get nutrients from fruits and vegetables. However, it’s important for diabetics to choose low-sugar fruits and veggies and monitor their carbohydrate intake when juicing. With some careful planning, juicing can be a great addition to a diabetic diet.


For people with diabetes, juicing can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows easy consumption of nutrients from fruits and veggies. On the other hand, removing the fiber content of produce through juicing can cause a spike in blood sugar. The key is moderation and choosing low glycemic produce.

Here’s an overview of how juicing affects blood sugar:

  • Juices extract the fluids and nutrients of produce but leave behind the fiber. This fiber is important for slowing digestion and preventing blood sugar spikes.
  • The fruits and veggies used in juices impact their glycemic load. High glycemic load foods cause greater blood sugar spikes.
  • Juices digest very quickly since the produce is finely processed. This also leads to rapid absorption and blood sugar spikes.

The effect of juicing on blood sugar means diabetics need to be mindful of what and how much they juice. But with some careful planning, juicing can be incorporated into a healthy diabetes diet.

Choosing the Right Fruits and Vegetables

The first key for diabetics is choosing fruits and vegetables that are low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index (GI) measures how much a food raises blood glucose. Low GI foods have a value of 55 or less.

Some fruits and vegetables that are low GI and diabetes-friendly for juicing include:

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Zucchini

Higher glycemic fruits like bananas, mangos, grapes, and pineapple should be used sparingly. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew also have higher GI scores.

Portion Sizes and Moderation

In addition to choosing low GI produce, it’s important for diabetics to drink juices in moderation. Large amounts of even low sugar juices can cause blood glucose to rise. Here are some tips on maintaining portion control:

  • Keep servings to 1 cup or less
  • Don’t drink more than 2 cups of juice per day
  • Always combine juices with food or drink with a meal
  • Water down high sugar juices like orange or apple juice
  • Mix in lower glycemic vegetables to fruit juices

It’s also best to avoid juicing fruits and vegetables that have the highest sugar content. These include:

  • Mangos
  • Grapes
  • Cherries
  • Pomegranates
  • Watermelon
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips

Include Healthy Fats and Protein

Another way to help stabilize blood sugar with juices is to include healthy fats, protein, and fiber. These macros can slow digestion and the absorption of sugars. Here are some additions to try in juices:

  • Nut butters – 1 tablespoon per serving
  • Chia or flax seeds – 1 teaspoon per serving
  • Hemp seeds or protein powder – 2 tablespoons per serving
  • Greek yogurt – 1/4 cup per serving
  • Avocado – 1/4 cup per serving
  • Spinach, kale, swiss chard – Handful per serving

You can also add these items into the juicing blender or mix them with the juice. Combining juices with protein sources is ideal for meal replacement juices.

Glycemic Load of Sample Juice Recipes

To visualize the impact of different juice recipes on blood sugar, here is a comparison of the glycemic load of some sample juices in 8 ounce servings:

Beverage Glycemic Load
Orange Juice 12
Apple Juice 11
Fruit Punch Juice 17
Green Juice with Apple 6
Green Juice with Berries 2
Carrot Apple Ginger Juice 9
Carrot Beet Ginger Juice 5

This table demonstrates how pure fruit juices have the highest glycemic loads, while green juices with low sugar fruits and vegetables have minimal impact on blood glucose.

How Much Juice Can a Diabetic Drink Per Day?

There are no strict guidelines for how much juice a diabetic can drink per day. The most important factors are the glycemic load of the juice, the portion size, and pairing juices with food containing fat, fiber, and protein.

As a general recommendation, the ADA suggests limiting juice portions to:

  • 1 small glass, about 4-6 oz
  • 1⁄2 large glass, about 8 oz
  • 1 cup or less for meal replacement juices

Based on this, some reasonable daily juice allowances could be:

  • 4-8 oz with meals
  • 4-6 oz between meals
  • Up to 12-16 oz if mixed with protein/fat

However, diabetics should always monitor blood sugar when increasing juice intake to stay within personalized carb limits.

Ideal Times to Drink Juice

Drinking juice with meals or food is ideal for diabetics. The food helps prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing digestion. Some good times to drink juice include:

  • With breakfast
  • As part of a smoothie for breakfast
  • With lunch or dinner
  • As an afternoon snack with nuts or cheese
  • After meals as dessert

It’s best to avoid drinking juice on an empty stomach or by itself between meals when blood sugar is likely to spike. Diabetics should also limit juice consumption right before exercise for the same reason.

Sample Juice Recipes for Diabetics

Here are some healthy and diabetes-friendly juice recipes to try:

Berry Green Juice

  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1 cup water

Carrot Apple Juice

  • 5 carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 1⁄2 lemon

Detox Green Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 5 stalks celery
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 green apple
  • 1⁄2 lemon
  • 1-inch ginger

Tropical Green Juice

  • 1 cup pineapple
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1⁄4 avocado
  • 1 cup coconut water

Try experimenting with different juice combinations to find options that don’t spike your blood sugar. Mixing vegetables and berries with lower glycemic fruits can yield flavorful juices that are still diabetes-friendly.

Potential Benefits of Juicing for Diabetics

Here are some of the top benefits diabetics can gain from juicing:

  • Increased vegetable intake – Juicing makes it easier to consume the recommended 5-9 vegetable servings per day.
  • Greater variety of produce – Juicing allows tasting new fruits and veggies you wouldn’t normally eat whole.
  • Higher antioxidant intake – Fruits and veggies juiced contain antioxidants that can lower inflammation and oxidative stress caused by diabetes.
  • More magnesium from greens – Magnesium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce risk of diabetes complications.
  • Weight management – Replacing higher calorie beverages with low sugar juices can promote weight loss.

Juicing can allow diabetics to reap these benefits without spiking blood sugar by following proper guidelines.

Precautions for Diabetics When Juicing

Here are some precautions people with diabetes should take with juicing:

  • Check blood sugar before and after drinking juice to see individual responses.
  • Stick to whole fruits and vegetables if concerned about blood sugar spikes.
  • Avoid juice fasting or cleansing regimens which provide excess sugars.
  • Be cautious with juice bars or pre-made juices that may use high sugar recipes.

It’s also important to maintain regular blood work and doctor visits to monitor diabetes while adding juicing to your diet.


Juicing can be a healthy habit for diabetics with some added mindfulness. Focus on low glycemic produce, keep portions small, and combine juices with protein and fat sources. With a few precautions, juicing provides a great way for diabetics to reap the many benefits of fruits and vegetables without compromising blood sugar control.

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