For years, there has been disagreement surrounding the question of whether or not people with diabetes should drink fruit juice or stay away from it altogether.
Most people now seem to agree that 100% fruit juice is okay, as long as it’s only consumed on occasion and in moderation. And as long as it’s 100% juice.
Is it better to eat the fruit than drink it, though? Probably. At least, Reader’s Digest recommends it. Many juices and other fruit-based products take out some of the nutritional value of the fruit when they process it, so whole fruit is pretty much always the best way to go.
Another problem with fruit juice is how much people tend to drink. Many whole fruits are sort of naturally prepackaged in convenient portions, while juice depends on how much you pour. A serving of fruit should be about four ounces, but standard juice glass sizes allow space for more like 12 ounces.
If you’re really craving juice, try a low-sodium vegetable juice instead. Of course, it is important to keep an eye on how much fruit you’re consuming, whether you’re eating it or drinking it.
Don’t swear off fruit entirely, though. Two studies from 2013 and 2015 demonstrated the health benefits of fruit consumption for those with diabetes. Just watch out for processed fruit products, which often don’t have the same benefits as whole fruits.
Try to pick fruits that are high in nutritional value that also have a low glycemic index appropriate for your dietary needs. Apples, grapefruits, and pears, for example are all nutrient-dense but have a low glycemic index.
For real juice lovers, Reader’s Digest suggests drinking four ounces with a meal, testing your blood sugar, and then repeating the same meal with the same beverage for the next few days. If your blood sugar doesn’t increase by more than 50 points, a little juice in your diet may not be the end of the world.
If you choose to include juice in your diet, make sure that what you’re drinking is actually 100% fruit juice with no added sugar. Watch out for that misleading packaging!
Despite the legislation against false advertising, labels continue to give consumers the wrong idea. Learn more about a recent issue concerning the deceptive wording on fruit gummies and why some parents took the company to court.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?