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Juice, Instead of Whole Fruits, Linked to Diabetes, and More News

Juice, Instead of Whole Fruits, Linked to Diabetes, and More News

Bobby Flay confirms Mesa Grill reopening, plus the Next Bocuse d'Or menu

Eating whole fruits instead of drinking juice will reduce diabetes risk.

Check out the headlines you may have missed.

Restaurant Spends $2,000 on Halibut: A chef whipped out some $2,333 for a gigantic, 7-foot-long halibut. [Daily Mail]

Next's New Menu: Grant Achatz's team previews their upcoming menu, Bocuse d'Or, running through the end of December. [Grub Street]

Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill: Now that the chef's 22-year-old flagship has shuttered, Flay announces that he does plan to open Mesa Grill in another location. [Twitter/Bflay]

Eat Whole Fruits, Not Juice: Skip the juicing; researchers found that people who replace drinking juice with eating whole fruits saw a 7 percent drop in type-2 diabetes risk. [Guardian]

Odessa Cafe Closes: The New York institution closed Saturday after 48 years of serving beers to customers, thanks to a 50 percent increase in rent. [DNAinfo]

Forget the Juice and Eat the Whole Fruit Instead

If you’re trying to decide on something sweet to drink with breakfast, 100 percent fruit juice (that is, juice that has nothing added) is certainly healthier than juice drinks with added sugars.

A cup of it can even count as a daily serving of fruit, according to the Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines. And it contains many of the vitamins and minerals found in the whole fruit it comes from.

Nevertheless, says Wendy White, Ph.D., R.D., an associate professor in the department of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State University, drinking juice isn’t the best way to get your daily dose of fruit.

A key reason: Fruit juice contains little fiber, if any. “Most Americans substantially underconsume fiber,” White says, and fiber is linked with health benefits including a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and constipation.

Fiber also helps you feel fuller longer, and that can help control your weight. Juice leaves the stomach faster than a piece of whole fruit. “As a result, fruit juice is less filling,” White says.

Then there’s the sugar content. Although nutrition experts generally say not to be concerned about the sugars that are naturally present in fruit (as well as in milk, plain yogurt, and some vegetables), many make an exception for fruit juice because the lack of fiber means your body absorbs the juice’s sugars more rapidly.

And fruit juice is a more concentrated source of sugars than whole fruit. For example, there are 12 grams of sugars in a medium orange, but a cup of orange juice has 21 grams. A cup of grape juice has about as much sugars as 50 grapes.

A serving of fruit juice also has more calories. A cup of orange juice, for instance, has 112 calories compared with 65 calories in a medium-sized orange, according to data from the USDA.

And a 2013 study in the British Medical Journal found that the more fruit juice you drink, the higher your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whereas eating whole fruits was associated with a lower risk of the disease. Blueberries, grapes, and apples, in that order, had the greatest effect. Swapping three fruit-juice servings per week for whole fruit led to a 7 percent decrease in diabetes risk.

Juicing for People With Diabetes: Is It Safe?

“I don’t think juicing is the best idea for people with diabetes,” says Chong, who has type 1 diabetes. She explains that people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes need to control their blood sugar not only throughout the day, but at any individual point in the day as well. While juicing can be safe if you focus on nonstarchy, or low-carbohydrate, vegetables and limit diabetes-friendly fruits, the overall carbs in juices can add up quickly, Chong says. Consuming too many carbs can be dangerous for people with diabetes, as they’re broken down into glucose in the blood, thereby spiking blood sugar. Blood sugar control is imperative for effective diabetes management.

Anna Simos, CDE, MPH, manager of the diabetes education and prevention program at Stanford Health Care in California, agrees with Chong. “Regardless of whether you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, juicing concentrates the fruits,” Simos explains. Because juice isn’t as filling, it’s much easier to drink more carbohydrates than you would eat in whole fruit. By juicing something like an orange, for example, you strip the fruit of its fiber and thus increase the glycemic index of that fruit, she says. The glycemic index measures foods' effect on blood sugar. Although most whole fruits rank relatively low on the index, and are thus safe to eat in moderation with diabetes, consuming them in their juice form reduces that benefit. In fact, a study published in August 2013 in The BMJ found that while munching on whole fruits, like blueberries, apples, and grapes, was linked with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, drinking fruit juice was associated with a significantly higher risk of the disease.

Fruit Juice Versus Whole Fruit Which One Should You Choose?


Fruit juice is a good option for people who are picky eaters, so you can combine other fruits to make it tastier and flavourful. You can also combine vegetables with the fruits to mask the bitter taste of veggies and make it tolerable and yet get all important nutrients. Eating whole fruit does not give many options, however, some people like it this way.

Fruit juice is a good option for people who are picky eaters​

Fruit juices here clearly mean fresh juices extracted from whole fruits at home and not the packed ones. According to Dr. Preeti Jain, Senior Dietitian at Action Cancer Hospital, "Packed fruit juice bottle would sound better and handy to carry. But in that case note that just 250 milliliter of regular orange juice, contains over 140 calories, which is equivalent of almost three small oranges. It is highly recommended to eat fruit directly, and not drink it as packed one. Package juices not only destroy its beneficial compounds but it nearly removes the natural fiber present in the same, increasing the sugar content and reducing the fibers present in the same. Packed bottle also have preservatives which may have a detrimental effect on your health."

Extracted juice does nourish your body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients available in the whole fruit. In fact, these nutrients are readily available to your body for absorption. However, juicing fruits can sieve off the fiber content that the pulp and skin of the fruit has. Fiber helps in boosting digestion, controlling blood sugar, and lowering cholesterol. Moreover, it keeps you full for longer, particularly if you are looking to lose weight. According to Ayurvedacharya Dr. Partap Chauhan, Director Jiva Ayurveda, "As far as quality is concerned, both are same, except for the difference that in juices dietary fibers are sieved off. Fibers are important for a healthy gut. That said, if you have to choose between a fruit and mass-produced commercial juices, choose the fruit. Commercial juices have preservatives which should be avoided as much as possible because preservatives are not nutrients. We recommend home pressed juices."

Extracted juice does nourish your body with vitamins​ Photo Credit: Istock/bhofack2

Another drawback of drinking fruit juice is the sugar content is absorbed in the body quickly due to the absence of fiber content, which will only lead to spike in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, whole fruits are packed with fiber, which helps the body to absorb sugar slowly.

The verdict

Fruit juices are great, however, they shouldn't be served to diabetics considering they have no fiber content left. In fact it is okay to have both whole fruit and homemade juices alternatively but you can always choose to switch between the two. If we talk about ease of consumption, then juices are better for obvious reasons. The elderly, children and the indisposed who cannot swallow solids or find it difficult to swallow can be given juices. Packaged juices are a big no-no and will only reverse the health benefits of both, fruit and juice.

Juicing Recipes: A Tasty Way to Get Your Fill of Fruits and Vegetables

Juicing is, technically, a "processed" food eating whole foods provides better nutrition. Even so, smart juicing—as in the juicing recipes within this post—does contribute to your fruit and vegetable intake.

Juicing is a trendy way to prepare delicious blends of fruits and/or vegetables, but remember it’s a process that extracts the juice from fresh fruits or vegetables—which technically makes it processed food. On the plus side, juicing recipes will leave you with most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant chemicals (phytonutrients) from a whole fruit or vegetable. Unfortunately, the fiber—which contains numerous health benefits from produce (see below)—is typically lost during most juicing processes.

As such, nutrition and health professionals recommend eating more fresh fruits and vegetables. Yet that hasn’t slowed down the trend of drinking them instead. The movement is related partly to hype but also to the sheer convenience of juicing and the simplicity of juicing recipes.

Helping to keep the trend popular: the release of popular documentaries, among them the Joe Cross film Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead, that tout the benefits of juicing.

Buyer Beware

Although the evidence of juicing’s health benefits is primarily anecdotal, one thing is certain: Juicing recipes can help you squeeze more vitamins and minerals from produce into your diet—which is especially important for those who just aren’t veggie fans. This is an obvious advantage of the craze. After all, only about 10 percent of Americans are getting the daily recommended number of servings of vegetables and fruit (five to seven).

As long as juicing is a trend, you’ll continue to see countless claims out there about its benefits. Yet there isn’t any strong scientific evidence to support the purported benefits of juicing, compared to eating fruits and vegetables.

Juicing and “juice cleansing” (consuming juices to obtain nutrition while abstaining from eating food) is certainly not for everyone—especially those with medical conditions such as diabetes and various organ diseases.

Juicing can interfere with some medications for example, large amounts of foods high in vitamin K, such as kale, may alter how certain blood thinners work. Consult with your health professional before incorporating a juicing regimen into your diet.

Juicing Recipes: How to Maintain Balance

By now, you may be wondering whether juicing is right or wrong. That’s up to you to decide. However, if you choose to juice, be aware or beware of the “claims,” pros and cons, and how to juice “safely.” Consider:

  • Due to the high sugar and caloric content in fruit, most juicing advocates recommend that no more than 20 percent of your juice should come from fruit. Therefore, 80 percent or more of your juice should be sourced from a rainbow of fresh vegetables, with a special focus on green varieties, as they are typically a richer source of nutrition.
  • Avoid adding sugar and sweeteners to your juicing recipes.
  • Do add protein—such as hempseed or nut butter—to produce a juice that’s more balanced with respect to the macronutrient profile.

Don’t Give Up Whole Foods

Juicing machines typically extract the juice and leave the pulp as waste. Don’t replace eating fresh produce with juicing—you will lose the valuable fiber found in the pulp continue to eat fresh produce daily. Fiber helps to support digestive health and maintain a healthy weight, and it helps to lower your risk of diabetes, cholesterol, and heart disease.

According to the National Institute of Medicine, depending on one’s age, men need 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day and women need 21 to 25 grams. Eating whole fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to achieve this requirement.

Furthermore, research supports the claim that eating a plant-based diet is linked to a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, however, there isn’t any science that can back that up with respect to juicing.

Reach for Raw and Fresh

You get more vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants from raw, organic produce, and juicing can help you take in a larger volume of these nutrients. If you’re going to juice, raw is definitely better than produce that is frozen or canned. Drink the fruits (and vegetables) of your labor right away or the same day to avoid ingesting harmful bacteria—the shelf life is short. (Consider adding such other healthy ingredients as well, from maca to spirulina to hemp seeds.)


3 large carrots, peeled
4 celery stalks with leaves
1/2 Italian cucumber
1 large sweet apple, peeled and cored
1/2 lemon, peel and seeds removed
Handful of fresh spinach
Handful of fresh parsley
Mint from 3 stems
1 garlic clove, peeled (optional)
Juice all of the ingredients using the instructions for normal juicing in your juicer manual or blend in your blender until you have a very smooth consistency (add small amounts of water until you reached desired consistency). Chill your juice for half an hour and drink immediately.


1 large beet, trimmed and scrubbed
1 large green apple, peeled and cored
3 celery stalks with leaves
2 kale leaves
1 half-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

Juice all of the ingredients using the instructions for normal juicing in your juicer manual or blend in your blender until you have a very smooth consistency (add small amounts of water until you reached desired consistency). Chill your juice for half an hour and drink immediately.

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2. It’s Less Filling

Let's face it: A cup of juice doesn't hit the hunger spot like munching on an apple does. Yup, drinking your calories isn't nearly as filling as eating them. That's partly because juice lacks fiber, which helps keep you satiated longer, but also because you're not chomping. "The lack of chewing can often confuse the body, which may not register the same fullness factor without chewing and swallowing your food," says Moskovitz.

What's more, juicing reduces the volume of your meals, she says. Compare a whole orange to the size of that same orange once it goes through a juicer. It's a major downsize. And even though you're technically taking in the same number of calories, it feels like you're getting a whole lot less.

Plus, an orange may take you five minutes to eat, but only five seconds to sip. Eating too fast may result in feeling less satisfied and is even associated with an increased risk of obesity, according to a February 2018 study published in BMJ Open.

DIY Bitter Gourd and Cucumber Juice

This juice has a slightly sweet and bitter taste.

Things you’ll need:

2 large bitter gourds
1 green apple
1 medium cucumber
½ of a lemon
½ teaspoon of salt (optional)

  1. Wash the bitter gourds and peel off the skin.
  2. Slit the bitter gourds vertically, and using a spoon or knife, remove the rind and seeds. Roughly chop the bitter gourds into smaller pieces and soak the pieces in a bowl of water for 10 minutes. Optionally, you can add ½ teaspoon of salt to the water.
  3. Peel a cucumber and cut it into pieces.
  4. Cut the green apple into small pieces.
  5. Put the bitter gourd, green apple, and cucumber in a juicer to extract the juice. Add the juice of ½ of a lemon.

Before you begin making up recipes of your own, let’s take a look at the fruits you should avoid and those you can eat in moderation as well as some of the best vegetables to juice with.


These fruits have a high glycemic index which means they can cause blood sugar spikes. They can be used sparingly. The best time for a diabetic to ingest these fruits is after an hour of exercise when a blood sugar spike is less likely.

Eat in Moderation:

Because these fruits have a low glycemic index, they’re much safer for a diabetic diet. Remember, you should include one piece of fruit per serving per recipe. Any of these fruits will add the hint of sweetness that you might be missing from a green juice or one made exclusively from vegetables.

Best Juicing Foods for Diabetics

These are essentially diabetic superfoods. They have little effect on blood sugar but deliver the vitamins and minerals you need to maintain a healthy diet.

Great Diabetic Juicing Recipes

Here are a few simple, delicious recipes that are safe to include in a diabetic diet.

Celery and Spinach Juice

Blend all ingredients together, making sure the carrot and apple are peeled. If the finished product is a little too thick for your liking or if you want to add even more nutrition, add a whole cucumber.

Bell Pepper, Beet, and Kiwi

The mix of sweetness from the kiwi with the zing of the pepper makes this an interesting and delicious combination.

Spinach and Berry Juice

Berries have a low glycemic index but still taste super sweet. They’re the perfect way to add some sweetness without using too much sugar.

Sweet and Spicy Sweet Potato Juice

This juice is sweet and warm, a great choice for fall. The cinnamon and sweet potato work really well together and the apple adds just the right amount of tart sweetness. If you want a little more of a kick, add in just a little bit of ginger.

Veggie Heavy

Squeeze the lime into the finished product if you want this to taste really fresh. The slight kick of the peppers with the cilantro and lime give this an almost Mexican flair. Add just a little bit of jalapeno pepper if you want a little bit of bite.

Sweet Broccoli Juice

This recipe is a great example of how carrots can be used to sweeten things up. The broccoli has a bit of an earthy flavor and the apple adds a little bit of tart to the blend. It’s the sweetness of the carrot that really brings the whole thing together.

Be Safe, Be Smart

There is no reason that diabetes should stop anyone from benefiting from juicing but it’s important to understand the limitations. Diabetics cannot follow most standard recipes as some of the most popular sweet and juicy fruits can cause severe blood sugar spikes. While some people go on juice fasts or substitute juice for a meal, diabetics should never use it in place of food and should always make sure to consume a single serving as a part of a meal.

By incorporating a lot of leafy greens and relying on citrus fruits, berries, and carrots to add sweetness, there are some amazing tasty, diabetic recipes that provide all the health benefits while all but eliminating any risk. Remember, if you just have to add a big juicy mango or some pineapple, only do so after exercising to avoid any elevations in blood sugar.

These recipes are just the beginning. By using the lists of good fruits and veggies we provided, you can mix and match until you find the perfect recipe for you. Be safe, be smart, and get to juicing.

Diabetes Meal Planning

Counting carbs and the plate method are two common tools that can help you plan meals.

A meal plan is your guide for when, what, and how much to eat to get the nutrition you need while keeping your blood sugar levels in your target range. A good meal plan will consider your goals, tastes, and lifestyle, as well as any medicines you&rsquore taking.

A good meal plan will also:

  • Include more nonstarchy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and green beans.
  • Include fewer added sugars and refined grains, such as white bread, rice, and pasta with less than 2 grams of fiber external icon per serving.
  • Focus on whole foods instead of highly processed foods external icon as much as possible.

Carbohydrates in the food you eat raise your blood sugar levels. How fast carbs raise your blood sugar depends on what the food is and what you eat with it. For example, drinking fruit juice raises blood sugar faster than eating whole fruit. Eating carbs with foods that have protein, fat, or fiber slows down how quickly your blood sugar rises.

You&rsquoll want to plan for regular, balanced meals to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can be helpful. Counting carbs and using the plate method are two common tools that can make planning meals easier too.

Counting Carbs

Keeping track of how many carbs you eat and setting a limit for each meal can help keep your blood sugar levels in your target range. Work with your doctor or a registered dietitian to find out how many carbs you can eat each day and at each meal, and then refer to this list of common foods that contain carbs and serving sizes. For more information, see Carb Counting.

The Plate Method

It&rsquos easy to eat more food than you need without realizing it. The plate method is a simple, visual way to make sure you get enough nonstarchy vegetables and lean protein while limiting the amount of higher-carb foods you eat that have the highest impact on your blood sugar.

Start with a 9-inch dinner plate (about the length of a business envelope):

  • Fill half with nonstarchy vegetables, such as salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots.
  • Fill one quarter with a lean protein, such as chicken, turkey, beans, tofu, or eggs.
  • Fill one quarter with carb foods. Foods that are higher in carbs include grains, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes and peas), rice, pasta, beans, fruit, and yogurt. A cup of milk also counts as a carb food.

Then choose water or a low-calorie drink such as unsweetened iced tea to go with your meal.

Did you know? Food portions are much larger now than they were 20 years ago. Test your knowledge of portion distortion here external icon .

About Portion Size

Portion size and serving size aren&rsquot always the same. A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat at one time, while a serving is a specific amount of food, such as one slice of bread or 8 ounces (1 cup) of milk.

These days, portions at restaurants are quite a bit larger than they were several years ago. One entrée can equal 3 or 4 servings! Studies show that people tend to eat more when they&rsquore served more food, so getting portions under control is really important for managing weight and blood sugar.

If you&rsquore eating out, have half of your meal wrapped up to go so you can enjoy it later. At home, measure out snacks don&rsquot eat straight from the bag or box. At dinnertime, reduce the temptation to go back for seconds by keeping the serving bowls out of reach. And with this &ldquohandy&rdquo guide, you&rsquoll always have a way to estimate portion size at your fingertips:

  1. 3 ounces of meat, fish, or poultry
    Palm of hand (no fingers)
  2. 1 ounce of meat or cheese
    Thumb (tip to base)
  3. 1 cup or 1 medium fruit
  4. 1&ndash2 ounces of nuts or pretzels
    Cupped hand
  5. 1 tablespoon
    Thumb tip (tip to 1 st joint)
  6. 1 teaspoon
    Fingertip (tip to 1 st joint)

Get Help

Planning meals that fit your health needs, tastes, budget, and schedule can be complicated. Ask your doctor to refer you to diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services, where you&rsquoll work with a diabetes educator to create a healthy meal plan just for you. You can also visit the Find a Diabetes Education Program in Your Area external icon locator for DSMES services near you.

Seriously, Juice Is Not Healthy

Obesity affects 40 percent of adults and 19 percent of children in the United States and accounts for more than $168 billion in health care spending each year. Sugary beverages are thought to be one of the major drivers of the obesity epidemic. These drinks (think soda and sports drinks) are the largest single source of added sugars for Americans and contribute, on average, 145 added calories a day to our diets. For these reasons, reducing sugary beverage consumption has been a significant focus of public health intervention. Most efforts have focused on sodas.

But not juice. Juice, for some reason, gets a pass. It’s not clear why.

Americans drink a lot of juice. The average adult drinks 6.6 gallons per year. More than half of preschool-age children (ages 2 to 5) drink juice regularly, a proportion that, unlike for sodas, has not budged in recent decades. These children consume on average 10 ounces per day, more than twice the amount recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Parents tend to associate juice with healthfulness, are unaware of its relationship to weight gain and are reluctant to restrict it in their child’s diet. After all, 100 percent fruit juice — sold in handy individual servings — has been marketed as a natural source of vitamins and calcium. Department of Agriculture guidelines state that up to half of fruit servings can be provided in the form of 100 percent juice and recommend drinking fortified orange juice for the vitamin D. Some brands of juice are even marketed to infants.

Government programs designed to provide healthy food for children, such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, offer juice for kids. Researchers have found that children in the program are more likely to exceed the recommended daily fruit juice limit than those who are similarly poor but not enrolled.

Despite all the marketing and government support, fruit juices contain limited nutrients and tons of sugar. In fact, one 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains 10 teaspoons of sugar, which is roughly what’s in a can of Coke.

Drinking fruit juice is not the same as eating whole fruit. While eating certain fruits like apples and grapes is associated with a reduced risk of diabetes, drinking fruit juice is associated with the opposite. Juices contain more concentrated sugar and calories. They also have less fiber, which makes you feel full. Because juice can be consumed quickly, it is more likely than whole fruit to contribute to excess carbohydrate intake. For example, research has found that adults who drank apple juice before a meal felt hungrier and ate more calories than those who started with an apple instead. Children who drink juice instead of eating fruit may similarly feel less full and may be more likely to snack throughout the day.

Juice may also be a “gateway beverage” — 1-year-olds who drank more juice also drank more sugary beverages, including more soda, in their school-age years. Children’s excessive consumption of juice has been linked to an increased risk of weight gain, shorter stature and cavities. Even in the absence of weight gain, sugar consumption worsens blood pressure and increases cholesterol.

It’s tempting to minimize the negative contributions of juice to our diets because it’s “natural” or because it contains “vitamins.” Studies that support this view exist, but many are biased and have been questioned.

And we doubt you’d take a multivitamin if it contained 10 teaspoons of sugar.

[Children and adults are downing sugary drinks far less often, a new study finds]

There is no evidence that juice improves health. It should be treated like other sugary beverages, which are fine to have periodically if you want them, but not because you need them. Parents should instead serve water and focus on trying to increase children’s intake of whole fruit. Juice should no longer be served regularly in day care centers and schools. Public health efforts should challenge government guidelines that equate fruit juice with whole fruit, because these guidelines most likely fuel the false perception that drinking fruit juice is good for health.

It’s much easier to prevent obesity than it is to reverse it. We need to teach kids how to eat healthier when they’re young so that they develop good habits to carry on for the rest of their lives. In the past decade or so, we have succeeded in recognizing the harms of sugary beverages like soda. We can’t keep pretending that juice is different.