Many people are under the misconception that all fruit juices are healthy. Sadly, this is not the case. In fact, fruit juice contains a large amount of sugar which raises blood sugar levels very quickly. Therefore, people with diabetes who want to avoid heart disease and other diabetes-related complications are usually best to avoid drinking fruit juice altogether.
This is also true for anyone who is looking to lose weight by following a low-sugar diet or simply wants to keep their overall blood sugar levels as stable as possible. The only fruit juice that you would be safe in drinking would be 100% pure extract from orange skin without any added sugars or ingredients such as water or pulp (unless you have sensitivities).
Organic vs non-organic juice
Organic juice is a better option, but still not ideal. Juice that is labeled “100% organic” contains no added sugars whatsoever and typically undergoes a minimal amount of pasteurization. To ensure that you are getting 100% organic juice you will need to read carefully as sometimes companies will label their product “organic” even though it contains added sugars and preservatives.
Organic juices contain very little sugar compared to juice that is not organic. However, the sugar content in 100% organic juice can still end up being unhealthy for those with diabetes because, again, it contains little to no enzyme activity.
This is because less of the fruit’s natural enzymes remain in the juice after extraction and pasteurization. Regardless of the source of your juice, there are always some enzymes present due to the natural bacteria found in fruit that thrive during ripening and fermentation.
A very basic enzyme test will show how much enzyme activity there is in the juice you are drinking. If there is no enzyme activity then most likely you are drinking sugar water with a minimal amount of nutrition from your fruits.
The reason why regular fruit juice is unhealthy is because of how it’s processed. In a factory, fruit juices are made by first squeezing out the sugar content from the fruit. An extractor machine then takes this liquid and separates it into juice and pulp. The juice is then pasteurized at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria or enzymes that may have survived during the extraction process.
Pasteurizing changes the structure of these enzymes, rendering them unusable by your body. This process also lowers the nutritional value significantly as many of the vitamins in fruit are due to naturally occurring enzymes in each piece of fruit.
It is also important to note that most juices contain added sugars even though they do not taste sweet when you drink them. This is because the fruit was either too ripe, or was sprayed with sugar solutions during its growth in order to speed up the ripening process.
Most juices are high in sugar and low in fiber and protein. This may be part of why drinking juice leads to a negative blood sugar response. So if you are going to drink juice, stick with 100% pure extract of juice from the skin of an orange.
This way you will be sure that the only ingredients in your drink are 100% real fruit and water.
This also gets around the problem of added sugars because an orange contains very little natural sugars when ripe unless it is sprayed or made into juice prematurely. Whole oranges are high in fiber which helps regulate blood sugar levels, helping your body to feel fuller longer without consuming excessive amounts of sugar or calories.
A healthy drink
If you are looking for a healthy drink with great nutritional value, stick to lemon water. Lemons contain the perfect amount of vitamins and minerals for your body as well as the largest amount of citric acid (an important phytochemical) of any citrus fruit. Lemons also contain enzymes that your body can readily use to fight free radicals and keep you cancer-free.
You can also add a bit of 100% organic maple syrup or stevia if you want to sweeten it up a bit without adding unnecessary sugars or calories into your system.
Remember, If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, talk to your doctor about what foods are best for you to eat before making any changes. And always talk to your doctor before starting any type of diet or exercise regimen that would drop your daily sugars significantly.