Doctors will often advise their diabetic patients to avoid drinking sugary drinks, including fruit juice. In recent years, fruit juice manufacturers have responded to that admonition by producing lines of reduced-sugar juices that are more appropriate for type 2 diabetics. Certain vegetable juices and pomegranate juice may actually be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor prior to adding juice to your diet.
Pomegranate juice is filled with antioxidants, substances that help protect your cells from environmental damage and reduce your likelihood of developing heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. In the August 2006 issue of "Atherosclerosis," an article detailed the results of a study in which non-insulin-dependent diabetics drank 1.7 oz. of pomegranate juice daily for three months. Although pomegranate juice contains sugar, the participants in the study did not experience increases in their glucose, or blood sugar levels. The study included only 10 patients, however, so further research is needed. It has a low glycemic index and medium glycemic load, which means that it has a moderate effect on blood sugar levels.
Drinking tomato juice may improve the cardiovascular health of patients with type 2 diabetes. In a research letter published in the August 2004 issue of the "Journal of the American Medical Association," researchers described a study that took place at the University of Newcastle in Australia. Participants with type 2 diabetes who supplemented with tomato juice over a three-week period experienced improvement in their blood platelet activity, reducing their risk of developing heart disease. Unsweetened tomato juice has a low glycemic index and glycemic load, so it has only a modest effect on blood sugar.
Orange juice also provides a healthy option for those with diabetes. It has a low glycemic index and moderate glycemic load, so it won't cause harmful blood sugar spikes. The juice also comes loaded with vitamin C, a vitamin that might improve blood vessel function in those suffering from diabetes. Orange juice's antioxidant levels also protect your tissues from oxidative damage. Because this damage plays a role in complications as a result of diabetes, consuming vitamin C-rich foods might offer some health benefits.
Purchasing a juicer allows you to have total control over the ingredients in your daily fruit or vegetable juice. In her book “Juicing Book: All You Need to Create Delicious Juices for Your Optimum Health,” author Carole Jacobs, a former nutrition editor for "Shape" magazine, dedicates an entire chapter to diabetes and juices with a limited impact on blood glucose levels, including carrot, cauliflower-broccoli, cucumber and licorice root.
- "Atherosclerosis"; Anti-oxidative Effects of Pomegranate Juice Consumption by Diabetic Patients; Mira Rosenblat, M.Sc.; August 2006
- JAMA: Tomato Juice and Platelet Aggregation in Type 2 Diabetes
- “Juicing Book: All You Need to Create Delicious Juices for Your Optimum Health”; Carole Jacobs; 2010
- GI Database: Orange Juice
- GI Database: Tomato Juice, No Added Sugar
- GI Database: POM Pomegranate Juice
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin C