Prior to a diabetes diagnosis, many diabetics enjoyed juice as a part of their daily diet. Because of the sugar content in many juices, diabetics may find it challenging to determine what juices they can drink. However, there are many juices diabetics can enjoy as a part of their balanced nutritional plan. Fruit juices offer vitamins and nutrients, as well as antioxidants that our bodies need, so inclusion in the diabetic diet is important.
A diabetes diagnosis requires strict attention to nutrition, weight and overall health. The key to successful diabetes management is proper nutrition. At first it can be overwhelming trying to determine what to eat or drink in an attempt to keep blood sugar levels steady. By balancing carbohydrates, sugars, fats and protein in meal planning, the diabetic diet can offer variety. Including fruit juices in meal planning, often eliminated by the diabetic, is an important part of daily nutrition.
There are many reduced-sugar or no-sugar-added juices on the market today, such as cranberry, orange, apple and mixtures of various fruit juices. These options can make the selection of juices for diabetics easier. Other juices diabetics enjoy are pineapple, raspberry and pear. Whenever possible, always choose unsweetened fruit juices. For the diabetic no specific juice is exempt; however, "exchanges" for other foods may be necessary to level out sugar and carbohydrate intake.
Because diabetes can affect the kidneys, heart and other organs, cranberry juice is popular with diabetics as a result of its positive effect on the kidneys and bladder. Cranberry juice can be beneficial in the prevention of bladder or urinary tract infections. Further, orange juice is a great source for vitamin C and calcium (which is added to many brands of orange juice), and helps the body absorb calcium from other foods.
For the diabetic, carbohydrates are the major concern when selecting juices. Fruit juices contain both sugars and carbohydrates, which must be measured to determine proper juice servings. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), fruit juices would be considered the same (as far as carbohydrates) as a serving of fruit--a serving size is generally 1/2 cup. A serving size of fruit juice is "typically 1/3 to 1/2 cup, containing about 15g of carbohydrate."
When selecting juices it is important to understand the role of carbohydrates and proteins and how they work in your diet. The ADA suggests that diabetics read the container label, as carbohydrate content can vary for different juices.