When managing your diabetes, it's always better to eat the fruit or vegetable than drink its juice. But that doesn't mean you have to cut juice out of your diet altogether, especially if it's 100 percent juice that you make yourself. As with everything you eat, the key is to control the amount you consume. Consult your dietitian to discuss how fresh juice might fit into your diet plan.
Counting Fresh Juice
The primary concern with drinking juice for people with diabetes is that it's a concentrated source of calories and carbs. Plus, you don't have the fiber to slow digestion or sugar absorption. The American Diabetes Association suggests that when you drink juice, you make sure it's 100-percent fruit or vegetable juice without any added sugar. For reference, a 4-ounce portion of fruit juice has an average of 15 grams of carbs, and the same serving of vegetable juice has 5 grams of carbs, on average.
Low-Sugar Vegetable Juice Combos
To get the nutrition you seek from drinking fresh juice without all the sugar, stick with nonstarchy vegetables when making your juice. A good, relatively low-sugar combination might include carrots with cucumbers and celery. Or, if you like fresh green juice, try spinach and kale with tomato. The nice thing about making your own juice is that you can add some of the pulp left in your juicer to the juice, which provides a bit of fiber and might help slow digestion.
Fruit and Veggie Combos
To get some sweetness without too much sugar, you can create fruit and vegetable juice combinations. For example, juice pears with cucumber and celery. Or another lower-sugar fresh juice option might include oranges, carrot and tomato. Granny Smith apples with carrots, beets and lemon also make a refreshing combo. For freshness and quality, only juice the amount you plan on drinking, which should range from 4 ounces to 8 ounces. This amount contains about 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates.
Fresh Juice and Food Safety
Fresh fruit juice is not pasteurized like the juice you buy at the grocery store, and any bacteria in the produce could get into the juice and cause illness. To reduce your risk, wash all produce well before you juice, and be sure to clean your juicing equipment thoroughly when you're done. You can also boil your juice before you drink it to kill off any potential bacteria. If you have diabetes and you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system, you should not drink fresh juice.