Okay. Here’s the deal. When people talk about juicing and Type II Diabetes (T2D) the general common consensus is juice = bad because there’s too much sugar, and as anyone can tell you, free form sugars and T2D is never a good combo. But there’s more to the story: 1] not all juice is created equal, 2] methodology is important and 3] gut-health/gut-microbiome (if you’re new, don’t worry — I just learned what this is about a year ago) is the beginning and the end of nutrient absorption, and thus, your health. And, it just so happens, juicing the right way can help with all of it.
Not All Juice is Created Equal
Many studies have explored the benefits of adding fruits and vegetables to the diet, and which found that doing so correlated with significant decrease in T2D markers. But, they have also found that excessive fruit juice can exacerbate the blood sugar.
One study that appears well-researched, called The Nurses’ Health Study, I find it particularly interesting.*
In each case in that study, greater fruit juice consumption was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. This is why so many field studies discuss the importance of the glycemic index and the health/quality of your insulin metabolism.
However, the study failed to differentiate between canned, processed juices and freshly squeezed or pressed fruit juices. The study also failed to distinguish between different common juice types, such as berries, citrus juices (for example, grapefruit has been linked to beneficial effects for type 2 diabetes), and other fruits. I suspect that when future isolate for these variables the method of creating the juice, the specific juices consumed, and the specific quantities consumed, we will see results that vary from the ‘high-level’ conclusion of the study that seems to condemn fruit juice, broadly. Keep coming back to BeFitAgain.com and explore the videos we’ll start publishing on this and other topics in the coming months.
Let’s briefly turn to fruits and vegetables, broadly.
Overall, fruit and vegetables intake in no way has been associated with any risk of increase or creating issues for sufferers of T2D. In fact, higher fruit or green leafy vegetables intake was associated in every case (of the 4,529 cases documented) with significantly reduced risk of complications (and fruits and vegetables were also were also found to prevent T2D onset. Of note, increasing vegetable intake by an additional three servings per day ‘created circumstances’ for reversal of symptoms. And whole fruit consumption also lowered the amount of what the study calls “diabetic hazards”.
Although composition of fruit and vegetable juices is of course very different eating whole form fruits and vegetables, they contain polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals from fruits and vegetables. In fact, the consumption of vegetable juice was confirmed to help reach the daily dietary vegetable intake recommendations consistent with the 2005 Dietary Guidelines and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet , and drinking fruit juice was also an effective way of supplementing fruits.
But a 2013 study discussing overall fruit consumption in light of type 2 diabetes risk found juicing fruits and vegetables and then creating dried organic or encapsulated powders from the juice as a nutrient boost, this cause no issue for insulin levels or glucose (although many enzymes and cofactors that are needed for optimal nutrient absorption are destroyed in the drying process). Mirroring the Nurses’ study, this one also found that any increase in fruit juice showed associated increase risks of type 2 diabetes.
Juicing Methodology Is Important
A moment ago I briefly discussed the issue with lab-sampled juices, and, as you know there’s is a lot of difference between a pasteurized juice from the store shelves and something made before your eyes which has all its proteins, antioxidants and enzymes freshly in tact. After all, pasteurization kills most of the nutrients in any food, and with something as dynamically delicate as fresh juice, the after effects of processing, pressing, heating (almost boiling), separating, (and what the some in the juice industry call “perfuming”), leave us with little more than sugar water on a grocery store shelf.
Here’s a GREAT rule of thumb: if it’s good on a room-temperature grocery store shelf, it’s not good for you. They’re not recommended for any type of T2D, and with good reason, and no wonder the nurses in the study who consumed processed fruit juice saw their risks factors rise — what they likely drank can hardly be called “juice” and certainly not “fresh pressed juice” no matter what the FDA allows manufacturers to scribble on their bottles.
So, what CAN you drink if you have Type 2 Diabetes?
The key to juicing with diabetes is low-glycemic, nutrient rich, water rich juices. Kale, celery, cucumbers, cilantro, parsley, tomatoes, lettuces, and then freshly-pressed lemons, limes. There is fruit-specific research that also back having limited quantities of green apples, berries, and grapefruit.
Here’s another rule of thumb: if it’s a green juice, it’s almost certainly good for you. Think of green juice and T2D as mutually beneficial BFFs.
One of the most powerful things about green juice is the array of compound nutrients it offers towards your bodily needs to create good gut bacteria, and conquering and eliminating the more pathogenic ones. We know that Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a serious disease. The gut microbiota (GM) has recently been identified as a new potential risk factor in addition to already well-known diabetes risk factors, such as diet and weight.
Check it out: There have been new research findings, which describe how the kinds of bacteria you got in your belly, will have some influence whether someone becomes obese. This is a really interesting consideration, seeing as the science in the last 5-6 years has come out about the role that viruses play in how our bodies metabolize and store fat.
Ultimately, with any kind of blood sugar or metabolic issue, digestion is a factor. Juicing your vegetables will actually help you absorb more of your nutrients from any vegetable over eating it raw. If you have a history of making bad food choices, your body just isn’t equipped — enzymatically (the very job of the pancreas is not only to produce insulin, but to create all the enzyme codes for your digestion) — and without the right enzymes, your tummy and TGI tract can’t do its job correctly. Juicing is a kind of pre-digestion: it breaks down the cellular walls, releases excess fiber, and frees the amazing cellular ‘waters’ heading out to heal, well, YOU!
Besides, juicing is just an excellent way to consume the produce you need in your diet. Nearly every health authority says to get 6-8 servings of vegetables daily, which most of us just laugh at; but with juicing it’s super easy to reach your target.
It is a truly invigorating and delicious way to boost your immune system and supercharge your ability to absorb nutrients. Watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead’s Joe Cross make his Mean Green, to learn more about this!
So, le’s review: What are the keys to juicing with T2D?
1] Keep it green.
2] Eat Your Fruit and Drink Your vegetables.
Gut Health Is the Beginning and the End When it Comes to Health
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*In 1984 a 118 item food frequency questionnaire was sent to the participants of the Nurses’ Health Study to assess their habitual diet in the past year. In 1986 and every four years thereafter, a similar but expanded questionnaire was sent to the participants to update their dietary information. The expanded questionnaire was also administered every four years to assess diet among the participants in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study since 1986 and those in the Nurses’ Health Study II since 1991.