Juice vs. Fruit: What’s Better for Diabetes?

This past week, results of a European study, published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2006, made the news. This study was actually a comprehensive review of the literature on fruit and vegetable juices. And while it may not sound like an exciting paper to read, this study does raise an interesting point. Here’s the crux of the study, according to the authors: “When considering cancer and coronary heart disease prevention, there is no evidence that pure fruit and vegetable juices are less beneficial than whole fruit and vegetables.”


Dietitians may find this study to be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it’s good news. For people who dislike eating fruits or vegetables, downing a glass of grape juice or carrot juice is an easy way to get the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they need to help prevent heart disease and cancer. And we need all the help we can get when it comes to battling these two diseases. But, on the other hand, the issue of calories and carbohydrate surfaces when it comes to folks who are trying to watch their weight and/or who have diabetes.

If you’ve ever met with a dietitian for your diabetes, chances are you’ve been advised to limit fruit juices. Why? Well, a 4-ounce glass of orange juice, for example, contains about 60 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate. In the carbohydrate counting method of diabetes meal planning, this is considered “one carb choice.” What’s 15 grams of carbohydrate, you might argue? It’s not a lot of carbohydrate, all things considered. But, if you’re pouring yourself a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, do you really measure out just 4 ounces?

If you honestly do, great. Most people don’t, though, and end up drinking more like 8 or 12 ounces, since 4 ounces amounts to about one gulp. So you pour yourself more, the juice calories add up, and the additional carbohydrate is reflected in higher blood glucose readings shortly thereafter. And to make matters worse, some juice drinks have additional sugar added to them, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This sweetener has its own set of problems, including possible links to obesity and high triglyceride levels. Cranberry juice cocktail and many fruit juice “blends” are examples of sweetened juices (although not all are sweetened with HFCS).

I used to discourage my patients from drinking a lot of juice for these reasons. Instead, I’d advise using juice to treat hypoglycemia and, instead, eating fresh fruit. Fruit is higher in fiber and takes longer to eat, so it’s more filling and satisfying. Plus, it’s easier to control portions with fruit than it is with juice.

I was a little more lenient with tomato or vegetable juice (such as V8), since these juices have fewer calories and less carbohydrate than fruit juice. And for my die-hard, juice-loving patients, I’d relent a little and recommend “light” juice drinks, such as light-style cranberry juice cocktail or Diet V8 Splash; I’d even suggest “diluting” regular juice with water or seltzer water. All good ideas, I thought.

Now comes along this review of literature with its conclusions that juices are just as good as fruit. On the one hand, I’m glad to hear that there’s yet another way for people to fight heart disease, cancer, and possibly even Alzheimer disease by drinking juice. On the other hand, I’m not sure I’d change my recommendations for people with diabetes. I still believe that fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables offer something that juices don’t, and that’s the satisfaction of eating a tart Macintosh apple on a crisp fall day; a sweet, juicy peach in the heat of the summer; or a bright orange, crunchy carrot straight from the garden.

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  • Maithil

    Great article. I too like to drink juices but as a type II stay away from them for the reasons you described. Instead I have invested in a very nice juicer that I use to get mostly vegetable juices (Carrots, Celery, Lettuce, Spinace, small pieces of Ginger and add an apple or an orange if I want a little sweetness to improve the taste. Does wonders. I would not touch any canned or bottled juices even if they were light.

  • Florian

    I think a good way to enjoy the best of both ways and have the benefits of both, juice or whole fruit (liquid or solid),is to peel the big juicy plump naval orange, break it half separate the sections and eat them. The other half toss in a blender with some ice cubes crank it up to high for a few minutes and then pour it into a glass and drink a half glass of cold fresh juice with pulp. The whole orange totally consumed. You can do the same thing with just about all fresh fruits. I think you should stay away from “squeezing” the fruit to produce the juice.

    Florian (Type 1, dx 1967)

  • Florian

    I forgot to mention that a good way to drink clear fruit juice, if you really enjoy it, is to get a 6 pack of juice boxes made for kids lunch boxes. Apple, Grape, or Fruit Punch, about 4 oz, 60 cal, and 16 carbs (built in portion control). They travel well as they don’t need refrigeration and I like them to handle those below 60 blood sugars.

    Florian (Type 1, dx 1967)

  • JO

    You can get the benefits of 15 fruits and vegetables with Juice Plus+ I have taken it for years. It only has 2 carbs for all your fruit and veggie needs for the day.
    Of course I do eat additional especially veggies cause I like them and usually an apple because I’m not a big fruit eater

  • myrna fruitt


  • u2girli

    yes, I agree with Jo that Juice Plus is a great gap-filler for those of us not getting the 9-13 recommended servings. No salt, water or sugar

  • Jo

    Have you ever heard of someone being prone to diabetes if they have had a sexually transmitted disease? I’m in a health psych class and my instructor said the above. I have never heard this before. Also she said that diabetics that won’t change their lifestyle of not eating fruit, adds to the problem. I have never heard that either, now fruit juice adds to the problem.

    (I mentioned at the beginning of class that If the doctor had told me what hypoglygemia was then maybe I would not have got the diabetes, and I was eating an apple at the time. Maybe she didn’t like it that I was eating.)

  • acampbell

    Hi Jo,
    I’m not aware of research that points to an increased risk of diabetes if one has had an STD. However, women with diabetes are at a higher risk of yeast infections (which some consider to be a type of STD). I’m also not clear on what your instructor meant about how not eating fruit adds to the problem. You might ask your instructor, after class, if she can elaborate on what she meant. Of course, it’s important for people with diabetes (and people without diabetes, too!) to eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruit needs to be counted in your meal plan because it contains carbohydrate, but this doesn’t mean you can’t eat it. Also, it’s okay for people with diabetes to drink juice, but again, it needs to be counted as a carb choice. Fruits and vegetables contain many nutrients that are important for overall good health, and that can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Talk to your physician or an educator if you still have questions.

  • rmalley

    I know of a diabetic and he is concerned about eating fresh fruit. Is it okay for him to eat fresh fruit. Also he had a concern last week reguarding popcorn. if he could eat popcorn and how much?

  • Ben Hunter

    Juice Plus? That pyramid scheme multivitamin has gotten nothing but bad publicity. It’s a scam and it definitely doesn’t provide “all your fruit and veggie needs for the day”. That is false advertising! It’s sad that so many distributors of this product have chosen to spam health forums like this one. They are like predators, stalking us and just waiting to find someone ignorant enough to pony up the dough for their overpriced garbage vitamin pills.




  • acampbell

    Hi SAJID,
    I’m assuming you were diagnosed with diabetes, along with high blood pressure. While things can seem overwhelming right now, the good news is that making some lifestyle changes can help both your blood glucose and blood pressure levels at the same time. My main piece of advice for you is to make an appointment with a dietitian for a meal plan. Ask your doctor for a referral or go to http://www.eatright.org to find a dietitian in your area. In the meantime, I’d suggest you eat fresh fruit rather than drink fruit juice. Try to eat your meals at about the same times each day, and aim to eat about the same amount of carbohydrate at each of your meals. Also, check out one of my previous postings on the plate method, another good tool to get you started with meal planning. Eating a little less at meals will help. And, if possible, try to start being more active – even doing small amounts, like walking for 15 minutes each day can help. Eventually you’ll be able to build up and do more.

  • lena in wisconsin

    Is fresh orange okay to eat. I know that orange juice is good to have around if blood sugar gets too low. Mine never gets too low and I sure do not want to raise it with eating oranges.

  • acampbell

    Hi Lena,

    Yes, fresh oranges are fine to eat. In fact, any kind of fruit is okay to eat. The key is just knowing how much. One small, 6 1/2 ounce orange contains about 15 grams of carb – the same amount of carb in 1 slice of bread or 1/3 cup cooked pasta. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, and also contain potassium, folate and fiber. As long as you know how much carb to aim for at each of your meals and snacks, you can fit any kind of carb food (including oranges!) into your eating plan.

  • shireesha

    hi,i want to know which fruits can be taken in diabetics and which are not

  • healthygirl

    Just a note to give the correct information about Juic Plus in response to the post by Ben Hunter. Juice Plus is NOT a pyramid scam,a multivitamin, nor does it claim to be all the fruits and vegetables you need in a day. That being said, any distributor that makes these claims is WRONG! I am a distrubutor for Juice plus and can tell you that it is a good product. It is plain to read in our literature that Juice Plus is a whole food based product, not a vitamin, and we are to tell people that is is intended to be a supplement to our diet as a way to get more fruits, veggies, and fiber in our diet for those of us that, for numerous reasons, do not get all that we need. I would suggest to anyone wanting to know the real facts about this to contact NSA directly. The company has been in business for over 35 years, no pyramid scams last continuously for that long. There is a great deal of credible research out there, just look for it.

  • acampbell

    Hi shireesha,

    People with diabetes can eat any kind of fruit. You might want to read my response to Lena’s question, above, as she asked a similar question to yours. As with any carbohydrate food, the key is knowing how much carb you can have at a particular meal or snack, and then how much carb is in the fruit you wish to eat.

  • acampbell

    Hi healthygirl,
    Thanks for your posting. My understanding is that Juice Plus is sold by NSA through a multi-level marketing network, and that taking this supplement can cost up to $40 per month. While the intent may be for Juice Plus to supplement one’s diet (certainly better than not getting any fruits or vegetables at all), I’m not aware of any unbiased evidence that these fruit and vegetable powders are helpful in disease prevention, for example. And is there information as to how many servings of fruits/vegetables is in one serving (4 capsules) of Juice Plus?

  • Ben Hunter

    Hi Amy,
    Actually, Juice Plus at a minimum costs slightly more than $40/month — a ripoff given that it contains mostly vitamin additives. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has filed with the FDA to halt the marketing of JP because the product is misbranded, adulterated and deceptively labeled. The company that makes JP does not disclose the amount of fruit and vegetables in it because they know that it is insignificantly low. A study in 1996 (Chambers et al. Food Chem. 1996;57:271-274) showed that 4 capsules have the equivalent antioxidant capacity to about 30 g of fresh produce — that’s less than half a serving, and that’s after the product has been spiked with antioxidant vitamins. Every independent expert that has reviewed the product (over 30 now) gave it the big thumbs down. It certainly has no place in a discussion about diabetes. Ethical distributors would never make illegal claims that suggest JP can prevent or treat diseases, and yet such claims are everywhere.

  • Maria

    Actually there are not vitamin additives added to Juice PLUS. It is not a vitamin supplement but a whole food based product that is made from concentrating fruits and vegetables that have been juiced into powers using a low temperature process. There is A LOT more current research that can be found at http://www.juiceplus.com that supports the use of Juice PLUS in helping provide good nutrition needed to be healthy. The company clearly advertises that it uses 7 different fruits for the Orchard Blend and 10 different vegetables for the Garden Blend. That seems a pretty clear and disclosed amount.
    The distributors are trained to share the research and the rest is pretty easy because it only makes sense since the clinical studies are everywhere.

  • acampbell

    Regarding Juice Plus – most of the research that I’ve seen posted on the company website doesn’t point to improvement in health outcomes. As an example, many of the studies (using a small number of subjects), show increased blood levels of vitamins and antioxidants – but that doesn’t meant health is improved. Also, to my knowledge, no studies have compared Juice Plus with other supplements. Finally, at a cost of $500 per year, one needs to question if the same “benefits” can be obtained by a combination of fresh fruits and vegetables (which contain fiber), along with a good multivitamin supplement. Just some food for thought.

  • gford

    I was just diagnosed with high BP and prediabetes. I want to reduce my weight and sugar levels. I have never been much of a vegetables lover unless cooked, but love fruit juice. I have been drinking v-8 fusion for a while which blends vegetabel and fruit juice and really like it. Do you think this is a good choice if I do not over-do the portion? Also instead of bread for breakfast (which is usually toast) I have been having a protein cappuccino flavored smoothie drink from bolthouse farms sweetened with apple juice. Is that a bad choice? One 8 oz. serving has 10g of protein, 2.5g of fat and 28g of sugar, again from the apple juice.

  • acampbell

    Hi gford,
    V-8 V-Fusion can be a good choice, in moderation. An 8 oz. glass of the strawberry banana flavor provides 120 calories and 28 g carb (which is the same amount of carb in two slices of whole grain bread). The light version has only 50 calories and 13 g carb, so that would be a better choice. The downside is that neither of these juices contains any fiber. I’m not sure how much carbohydrate is in your smoothie drink, either, as the sugar is only one type of carb. So, I’d suggest either drinking the light version of the juice, or limiting your intake to 4 ounces, and then try to boost your fiber intake with either whole grain toast or cereal.

  • rameesha


  • acampbell

    Hi rameesha,
    It’s actually hard to answer your question, other than to say that people with diabetes can pretty much eat any kind of fruit. As I’ve mentioned above, the key is watching portions of whatever fruit you choose to eat. Typically, people with diabetes will often aim to eat 15 grams of carbohydrate worth of fruit, which is considered one fruit serving. A small apple or orange, one half of a banana or about 1 cup of berries all contain 15 grams of carb. You can drink fruit juice too (1/2 cup) but whole fruit has more fiber and is more filling. As far as high blood pressure goes, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help lower blood pressure, so that means eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. If you take certain kinds of blood pressure medicine, you may need to watch your potassium intake. Please ask your doctor if this is the case, and see my posting on potassium.

  • erum

    I am diabetic n m on insulin.my age is 26.i like to drink orange juice alot instead of raw.would u please advice me is it good for me a i am under weight also.


  • acampbell

    Hi erum,
    It’s okay to drink juice, but as with any food or beverage that contains carbohydrate, the key is fitting it into your eating plan. Are you counting carbohydrates? Please realize that juice is quite high in carbohydrate and may quickly raise blood glucose levels. So, much of the answer to your question depends on if you have a meal plan and how good your diabetes control is. It’s a good idea to meet with a dietitian who can teach you about carb counting, recommend carbohydrate goals that are appropriate for you, and help you safely gain weight, as well.

  • Leela Mathur

    I drink vegtables and apple combined and blended in a blander. My question is should I put the vegetales and apple in a juicer or a blander. Which is more beneficial? Thanks! leela

  • acampbell

    Hi Leela,
    If you’re a regular juice drinker, a juicer is probably your best bet. The juicer will separate seeds, fiber and peel from the juice whereas a blender will just grind everything together. However, a blender is a more versatile tool. Perhaps our readers have some thoughts on this, as well.

  • Granny Pat

    The message is…for diabetics….almost any food whether fruit or vegetable can be eaten. There are plenty of books in the library on the subject of diabetes and carb counting. Of course the bookstores also have info on carbs and diabetes. You must learn the carb count in foods. The doctor who diagnosed your diabetes probably has booklets on the subject. Enjoy your fruits, just figure them in on your allowed carb count for each meal. And learn to read labels…what is advertised as sugarfree is misleading. So there is NO sugar in something….but what about the carbs in the flour used in producing a product.
    It is VERY important not to mislead yourself. So go ahead and eat that orange or apple…..just COUNT THE CARBS and fit them in with your other food choices.

  • Susana Burke

    I have a friend who is a type 1 diabetic. He drinks alot of apple and cranverry juice to help him maintian his sugar levels. They seem to help, but he is alos gaining weight due to the calorie content iin the juice. Any thoughts as how to maintain your sugar better?

  • acampbell

    Hi Susana,
    I’m speculating a little since I don’t know the details of your friend’s diabetes, but if he’s having to frequently drink juice to keep up his blood sugars, it’s likely that his insulin doses need adjusting. Juice is fine to drink to treat hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) but if he’s constantly having lows, he probably needs to take less insulin. Also, weight gain can occur from constantly treating hypoglycemia. I’d suggest that your friend speak to his healthcare team about adjusting his insulin doses.

  • shereya

    i have sugar but it is normal condition the first time itself it came to 52 and 53 and now it is 90so doctor told u r complete normal. But my Question is Can I Get Married So it does Not Affect My Child

  • acampbell

    Hi shereya,
    I assume you are referring to your blood glucose levels running in the 90s? Women with diabetes can have healthy babies but it does mean tight diabetes control – following a meal plan, being physically active, monitoring blood glucose levels and taking diabetes medication. If you are planning on becoming pregnant, you need to work closely with your physician, a dietitian and a diabetes educator. Make sure your diabetes is in good control before you get pregnant. Talk to your physician and let him/her know that you are planning on becoming pregnant.

  • Lydia

    I have found that reading the labels carefully on those juices can help you stay away from the bad ones (high in sugar). My husband has type II and did well when we reduced the carbs. He didn’t realize how many carbs he was getting by drinking a large glass of OJ. Now I have switched to a reduced sugar grape juice (Northland) and he adds water to it because it is a little tart. Still it satisfies his craving for juice without all the carbs. Read the labels and you will be surprised to find out that many of us eat way more than the recommended daily amount of carbs (sugar) even for someone without diabetes.

  • Dennis

    Read a paperback book titled:

    Drinking Your Troubles Away by John Lust.
    (Available in most health food stores.)

    Really puts into perspective the concept of
    ingesting fresh, emphasis on fresh, fruit and
    vegetable juices.

    I would endorse a proper regime of juicing.
    Moderation, where appropriate.
    I am not a doctor…..but I am a juicer.
    Research and choose for yourself.

  • Sofia


    I have just being diaganose as a diabetic patient by my doctor…. i’m 38 yrs old a mother of three kids… me and my family like to consume mix fresh juice with a few sticks of celery in our juice everyday once a day…. my question is… is it possible that i had diabetes because of fresh juice… e.g : the juice which we normally had is mix fruits juice like some oranges, apples, pears,carrots and celery sometimes i put some tomatoes in it… and sometimes watermelon juice by its self… and i use power juicing machine for the juice…. please do tell me if it is safe or not safe for me and my family to drink same fruits juice everyday once a day….


  • acampbell

    Hi Sofia,

    First, drinking juice didn’t cause your diabetes. I’m assuming you have Type 2 diabetes? The exact cause or causes of diabetes aren’t known but it’s thought that Type 2 diabetes tends to run in the family. Also, certain environmental and lifestyle factors can put you at risk for diabetes, including being overweight, not getting enough physical activity, having a history of gestational diabetes, and being of African American, Asian American, Latino American, or Native American descent. Second, you can still fit juice into your eating plan, but please realize that juice, especially fruit juice, contains a lot of carbohydrate. Hopefully you’ve seen a dietitian or will be seeing one to learn how much carbohydrate you should eat at your meals and snacks. If, for example, you are given 45 grams of carbohydrate for a meal and you drink 8 ounces of fruit juice, you’ve already consumed 30 grams of carbohydrate, leaving you with just 15 grams of carbohydrate left. You can also find out how juice (and other foods and beverages) affect your blood glucose by checking your glucose with a meter. So, while you can still drink juice, I’d recommend you meet with a dietitian or diabetes educator to learn how to best fit it in to your diabetes treatment plan.

  • JoJo

    I can easily clear up this whole debate about whether or not Juice Plus is a scam. I was diagnosed with high BP, high cholesterol etc. I kept reading articles about how fruits and vegetables are essential at treating and preventing disease.(Not Juice Plus, just fruits and veggies, TIME Magazine articles etc.) I was introduced to JP months later. After six months I went back to the doctor and he asked me what I was doing different because I no longer had high BP and my cholesterol was normal. The only thing I did different was take Juice Plus. Now, I am a distributor for the company but not after being a huge skeptic myself. I don’t make money off of it, I just get mine wholesale. If you google JP you will get a lot of negative articles but none of these are scientific in nature, simply opinion. It is the most researched product on the market and contrary to many beliefs NSA does not sponsor all research. Oprah even tested JP and several other products to see if they actually did what they claim and JP did what it claims to do. It is bioavailable, it does reduce oxidative stress and does boost the immune system. No one is eating 9-13 servings of fruits and veggies and JP is a way to help you do that. Taking multivitamins is not the same, most are not proved to get into the blood stream. Also one apple had over 4,000 vitamins, antioxidants and phytonutrients taking vitamin c,d etc is never going to give you the thoudands and thousands of nutrients that 17 fruits and veggies will. Think about how much it would cost to buy 9-13 servings of organic fruits and veggies in one day…more than the $1.40 a day it costs for JP. It may not work for all but it worked for me and my health. Try it for yourself before you comment on its effectiveness.

  • acampbell

    Hi JoJo,

    Glad to hear that JuicePlus has worked for you. While there still isn’t a lot of non-company sponsored research on this product, the few studies do indicate that JuicePlus can increase blood levels of antioxidants. However, some of these studies weren’t well designed, and other studies showed fairly unimpressive results. However, I haven’t seen any studies comparing JuicePlus to other supplements — are there any? And the fact that this supplement was tested on Oprah doesn’t necessarily make this a better choice than other supplements. There are high-quality supplements that are well absorbed and undoubtedly cost much less than this product (my understanding is that JuicePlus is quite costly compared to other products). And while it’s true that not everyone is eating 9–13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, taking JuicePlus, or any supplement, for that matter, doesn’t make up for a poorly-balanced diet lacking in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Jo

    While I understand there are a lot of concerns about juices and diabetics, as far as preferences of consuming fruits vs juices go.. it’s a matter of taste. some ppl like hot foods and some ppl cold. similarly, some ppl prefer liquids to eating raw foods.

    There are lot of people who skip any fruits altogether, because many of them do not prefer eating fruits and don’t get the ambiance of a
    ‘juicy crisp apple’, etc. But they’re told juices are unhealthy… so it’s a cheap simple diet soda (no sugar) then. Many ppl luv juices– it’s simple and a condensed flavor of the fruit minus its fuss– the ambiance of ambrosia.

    In this case, perhaps instead of indicating ‘eat fruits’ instead of juices… perhaps there should be more emphasis on pre-packaged cost-effective healthier juices (i.e juices with whole fiber,etc).

  • acampbell

    Hi Jo,

    You make a good point in that some people prefer to drink fruit juice over eating fruit. However, fruit juice is very concentrated in carbohydrate and calories, and the majority of juices (even the “all natural” ones) are pretty low in fiber. And as I mentioned in my posting, the serving size for juice is about 4 ounces, not the usual 8 or 12 ounces that most people drink. While there are ways to work around the issue, such as diluting juice with water or seltzer water, I still believe that people with diabetes are better off eating whole fruit. In addition, data from the Nurses’ Health study showed that women who drank fruit juice versus eating fruit had a slightly higher chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

  • Joe

    What is the reference for the study you mention at the top of your article?

  • dennis frost

    hi,i know this is getting away from the subject a little, Rameesha aske about lowering blood pressure,one thing that i do is eat porridge oats every morning made with either skimmed or semi skimmed milk, or half milk half water, no sgar added, but i add a teaspoon of cinnamon which helps lower sugar levels, i also add chia seeds but that really is getting away from the subject,

  • JC from Oz

    Hi, I have just read this article & whilst I am not diabetic, I am always concerned about this disease as I have just turned 42 & understand it can come later in life. So I just had my blood test done etc…

    As for juicing or not, I think Amy Campbell is making a valid point that if we take juices that we do need to be careful how much juice we drink as it is obviusly easier to drink a litre of pinapple juice than it is to eat a whole pineapple.

    Having said all that, I am an advocate of juicing as of 2 days ago. I just bought a juicer (Oscar 900) which crushes the fruit & vegetables at low speed thus preserving enzymes (to aid digestion) that would normally be lost with normal juice extractors.

    Now I eat less meals & snacks and in only 2 days I have a much much better sense of wellbeing. Incredible but true. The meals I still eat always include a high in fibre meal. I also concur with Denis about oats & blood pressure.

    WHY JUICE instead of eating the veggies?
    SIMPLE! There are fruit and vegetables that I would NOT eat BUT I can easily add these to a juice & get the benefits out of them too.
    It is also a fact that RAW FOOD contains MUCH more vitamins & minerals than cooked.

    So in my opinion, the choice is so simple…
    STOP wasting money on supplements!
    BUY a good juicer that crushes at low speed (this creates minimal heat/friction)
    SAVE money! $50 extra a month on fresh fruit & veg is a lot of fruit & veg!

    finally…when you juice yourself, you will see how many pieces of fruit make a glass (4oz) of juice!

  • Natalie NW

    As far as I know there are a lot of fruits that diabetics are encouraged to eat because they’re fiber-rich and nutrient dense. Strawberries, bluberries, banana and apple slice (usually A cup or medium in size) with the skin are good for diabetics. I’m not sure about whether popcorn can have a good or bad effect. Diabetics need to be very aware of their starch intake. There are many foods that they can have just in moderation, preferrably the serving size. On the contrary a “diabetic diet” is really how we all should be eating. It is very much according to the food pyramid. Webmd.com has some very good articles also.

  • Dennis Frost

    the best diet a diabetic can adopt is a vegan diet, ive tried it but its hard to stick to, so im doing it in steps, first ive cut out meats to about 90%, avoiding red and fatty meats all together,ive cut out butter and margerines, reduced dairy intake, so slowly but surely im getting there.


  • acampbell

    Hi Dennis,

    A vegan diet is a diet, or eating plan, in which no animal products are consumed. So, a vegan doesn’t eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs or dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Many vegans also avoid honey and will not wear leather. If properly planned, a vegan diet can provide all the nutrients one needs. However, a vegan does need to make an effort to get enough vitamin B12, iron, zinc, and sometimes calcium. Nutrition aside, it can often be challenging for vegans to eat away from home, since friends, family, and restaurants often prepare foods with some kind of animal products. But it’s certainly doable with a little effort. And vegans tend to have a lower risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer. A vegan diet can also be helpful for people with Type 2 diabetes in terms of weight management, improved A1C, and reduced risk for heart disease. For more information on vegetarianism, check out http://www.mypyramid.gov/tips_resources/vegetarian_diets.html.

  • Dennis Frost

    Hiya thanks for the link,my goal is to be a vegan for health reasons,but like i say i dont think i can do it over night,but i think with the steps im taking i will get there, im cooking without meat now, and cook a lot of healthy choice indian food,then im getting the benefits of all the herbs and spices,i also make a mean veg moussaka http://www.grouprecipes.com/110427/vegetarian-moussaka.html and eventually ill make it without the cheese

  • rukshana

    My friend sent me am e-mail where I read that juice mmade from a mix of pears and banana will help control surar. Is there any authanticity on this statement?

  • rukshana

    My friend sent me an e-mail where I read that juice made from a mix of pears and bananas will help control sugar. Is there any authanticity on this statement?

  • acampbell

    Hi rukshana,

    No, not that I’m aware of. Any kind of fruit juice will contain carbohydrate and carbohydrate has a very definite effect on blood glucose. On the other hand, eating a pear or a banana means that you’ll get fiber; while the fruit still has carbohydrate, you will likely see less of an effect on your blood glucose from eating a piece of fruit rather than drinking juice, in part, because of the fiber in the fruit.

  • dennis frost
  • Walu

    This has all been interesting and informing because I was diagnosed as type 1 last friday, and I’ve been in shock ever since…Anyway, I checked in to find out what juice I should buy- I’m on my way to the store to buy cranberry juice and diet V8 splash. I will keep in mind that moderation is the key…


  • acampbell

    Hi Walu,

    A diagnosis of diabetes can certainly send you reeling. I hope you’re scheduled for some diabetes education because there is a lot to learn! If you’re not, ask your physician for a referral to a diabetes education program. There is likely one in your area. In the meantime, read and learn as much as you can about diabetes — you’ll find this Web site to be helpful.

  • Burke

    Hi Amy,
    Interesting article, may I just enquire, which research article is it you were talking about at the start of this article? I refer to the one found in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition in 2006. Would be of great help to my research work if you could let me know. Thanks!

  • acampbell

    Hi Burke,

    Here’s the reference for the article:

    Can pure fruit and vegetable juices protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease too? A review of the evidence
    Carrie H. S. Ruxton; Elaine J. Gardner; Drew Walker
    International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 1465-3478, Volume 57, Issue 3, 2006, Pages 249–272

  • BS fruit juice

    In your article you stated a 4 ounce glass. Who has a 4 ounce glass these days? Thanks for the article. drink water/eat fruit pretty simple.

  • chris

    Hey all
    recently purchased a juice bar and am still learning – customer with type 2 diabetes has recently asked me what she could have in the way of juices so can anybody help. Understand she could only have 12 ounces max but what can i serve . Fruits or vegetables or both . Any ideas

  • acampbell

    Hi chris,

    My advice is to offer a variety of vegetable juices, which are lower in carbohydrate than fruit juices. For example, an 8-ounce glass of carrot juice has 12 grams of carbohydrate, whereas an 8-ounce glass of orange juice has 26 grams of carbohydrate. Other options are to mix fruit and vegetable juices together, dilute fruit juice with seltzer water (juice spritzer) or lots of ice, or serve a smaller portion, such as 8 ounces instead of 12 ounces (which is a fairly large portion of juice for someone with diabetes).

  • chris

    Thank you very much . Much appreciated have found further info regarding GI and Carbs so long way to go with learning but again thank you

  • L. G. Johnson

    Unfortunately, on V8 and also on many of those ‘light’ juice drinks you mentioned above, if you read the ingredient list, the second or third ingredient listed is High Fructose Corn Syrup – THAT is something anyone with diabetes should shun!

  • acampbell

    Hi L.G. Johnson,

    Actually, I checked the ingredient list for V8 and it doesn’t contain any sugar — high-fructose corn syrup or otherwise. Nor does V8 Diet Splash or V8 V-Fusion. The Ocean Spray Light juices and Diet Ocean Spray also do not contain high-fructose corn syrup. These juices may contain fruit juice concentrate and/or nonnutritive sweeteners, such as sucralose and acesulfame-k.

  • ignored info

    woe I am lucky to come to this site, I have type 2, and decided to eat healthier. So I have been having juice from 4 apples, 2 pears, 2 kiwi fruit, 2 carrots every day. What are the best veg to juice instead of fruit?

  • acampbell

    Hi ignored info,

    Try any combination of lower-carbohydrate veggies, such as carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. You can add a little fruit to the veggies for a touch of sweetness.

  • Michele

    My daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 11. She was a huge milk drinker prior to that, she would consume 2 liters a day. Now that she has to count carbs for insulin she has turned to diet pop and Crystal light.My sister gets on our case about it because of whats in the diet products but yet her 5 year old drinks 5 to 7 juice boxes a day. Which is healthier, is it worth the extra insulin. She eats lots of fruit and veggies daily more than the recomended food guide….

  • acampbell

    Hi Michele,

    Yours is a tricky question because there really is no right answer. It’s best if your daughter gets her nutrients from fresh (or frozen) fruits and vegetables instead of juice. But a little juice (such as a glass a day) is OK. Sugar-free beverages are OK, too, but I’m not a big fan of people constantly drinking them during the day. However, the sweeteners that are in sugar-free drinks are proven to be safe. I think moderation is the message, so ideally, try to promote more water or seltzer water as opposed to her drinking diet drinks all day. Another option for her is to dilute fruit juice with seltzer water.

  • Bud Wood

    At 85 years of age, I have survived pretty well. Fortunately, I did not fall for some of these fad diets. Specifically, I eschewed the lo-fat or no-fat diet. Fats provided me with a lot of needed lipids and energy without any carbohydrates. Also, my weight is right at 200 lbs which is good for a 6 foot height.

    The key to my health is exercise. I do about everything around the house and try to ride a bike to the post office, library, markets, etc.

  • vanessa white

    This was a very informative article, but i find that v8 juices are very high in carbohydrates, lipton all natural tea is very low in carbs (about 17 grams a bottle)and drink it here and there with my meals.

  • Zoraida Brito-Miguez

    My question is what which of the following vetables are better at lowering the glucose level of a Type II diabetic patient : Celery, carots or lettuce.

  • acampbell

    Hi Zoraida,

    It might be better to ask which of these vegetables are least likely to cause your glucose to go up. And this is best answered by looking at how much carbohydrate they contain, since it’s the carbohydrate in food that causes blood glucose to rise. So, as an example, one cup of lettuce contains 2 grams of carbohydrate, 1 cup of celery contains 3 grams of carbohydrate, and 1 cup of carrots contains 12 grams of carbohydrate. Of course, it depends on how much you would eat of each of these vegetables, but it’s the lettuce that would have the least effect on blood glucose levels.

  • Fiona

    I am a newly diagnosed T2 diabetic and still mightly confused with this carb counting. One of my favourite drinks is orange juice with no added sugar, just plain squeezed orange juice with the “bits”. I dont like eating an orange though and dont want to force myself to do so. I’ve had a look at the carb content of my oj and its 9.2g / 100ml which is roughly my breakfast sized glass that I’ve used in the past. I realise that the whole fruit will always be better but is the carb content a fairly reasonable amount or still too high?

  • acampbell

    Hi Fiona,

    I would say 9 grams of carb is reasonable for the amount of juice that you’re drinking. One of the issues with juice is that people tend to drink too much of it, and then the carbohydrate content is increased. Juice can sometimes increase blood glucose quickly, so it’s best to drink it with other food, including some fat, which can slow down the absorption of the carbohydrate from the juice.

  • Patricia

    My husband doesn’t like fresh fruit so he stews strawberries, bakes pears and apples, etc. He adds sugar free jello, orange juice or sugar free marmelade and spices. Is fresh fruit better for him?

  • acampbell

    Hi Patricia,

    Fresh fruit tends to have more of certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium, and folate than cooked fruit. But cooked fruit is still fine to eat. Just keep in mind that fruit tends to “cook down” somewhat during the baking or stewing process. For example, one cup of fresh apple slices contains 15 grams of carbohydrate. But one half-cup of cooked apples (such as applesauce) contains 15 grams of carbohydrate.

  • MikeNgabesGwama

    Diagnosed with High Blood Pressure year ago 48yrs old, under medication for it. Did great in lowering my BP almost to the point of Dr taking me off medications till I started trying to lower my cholesterol to a goal of 200 from 265. I currently have it at a steady 225 but in doing so it raised my A1c1 from 92 to 106. Elevated glucose levels. This seems like an up hill battle that is destined to be lost. I dont want to be on diabetes meds as well. In your opinion what is the best simple fresh/in your hand foods to eat with out cooking frying prepping. Unfortunately daily exercise is a challenge with permanent ankle damage that makes even brisk walking a challenge.

  • acampbell

    Hi Mike,

    You didn’t mention if you were diagnosed with diabetes or not. If you have diabetes, the rise in blood glucose from 92 to 106 is well within the range of normal for someone with diabetes and not something to worry about. Studies have shown that if you lose 7% of your body weight and exercise 150 minutes per week, you can reduce your risk of getting diabetes by about 60%. This can be a challenge when you have ankle problems. Non-weight-bearing exercise such as swimming or using a rowing machine may be a good alternative. Even if you cannot exercise, strength training with weights (that avoid using the ankle) can help build muscle, burn calories and improve insulin resistance. You can also try armchair exercises or perhaps swimming or water aerobics. Try not to give up on the exercise. Start slow and increase your level of activity gradually. It’s a good idea to see a dietitian at this point to get some advice about your food intake, because this will depend on your health goals, your food preferences and your work schedule, and your lab values (blood pressure, A1C, cholesterol). The next time you see your doctor, ask about your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol level, as this is a more important number to pay attention to. If, despite your best efforts your LDL remains above 100 you will likely need a medication to treat your cholesterol.

  • Victoria Albright

    Hi am a diabetic type 2 i have to take insulin 3 time’s a day inject 10 units 3 time’s a day its so knew to me i still can’t really eat regular food tummy hurts i eat 8oz honeynut Cheerios ck broth soup wud else can i eat or drink i drink lots of water plz help thk u