Why Juice is NOT Off-Limits for People with Diabetes

I have partnered with Sunsweet PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light to bring this content to you. Although I have been compensated for this post, all opinions are my own.

If you are like most of my clients, from the day you heard the words “you have diabetes,” you have probably felt like the list of foods and drinks you need to avoid is a mile long. Trying to keep a list of “good foods” and “bad foods” in your head is not only exhausting, but it can also be unnecessary and even unhealthy. To manage diabetes, you need to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet. That means that very few foods or beverages need to be completely off limits. Sure, portion control and moderation are key, but the same can be said about any food that any of us eat, whether we have diabetes or not. Telling yourself you can never have a certain food or drink can backfire. As soon as you tell yourself you can never have something, guess what you want way more than you ever did before? Telling yourself a food or drink is completely off limits causes feelings of deprivation, which lead to cravings, and eventually may even lead to binge eating. As we kick off National Diabetes Month this November, my mission is to show you how you can still eat and drink what you love while successfully managing diabetes.

One big myth I hear from my clients time and time again is that juice is a complete no-no for anyone with diabetes. Most individuals that I meet with who have diabetes think that juice needs to be reserved only for times when blood glucose levels are crashing. But that’s actually not the case. If you love juice, you don’t have to feel like it is completely off limits. Sure, water should always be the go-to beverage for people with diabetes, but small amounts of juice can still be included as part of a healthy diabetes meal plan. The key is knowing how to choose the right juice and the best portion for your own individual health needs.

Not all juice is created equal

Some brands of juice are a better choice for those with diabetes than others. Two brands I like to recommend are PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light. I prefer these varieties since they contain fewer calories and sugar compared to full sugar beverages. Less sugar and less carbohydrates per serving means that these juices still provide great flavor without having as large of an impact on blood glucose levels. For instance, per serving Amaz!n Prune Light contains only 100 calories and 8 grams of sugar and is good for helping to regulate digestion. PlumSmart Light provides a good way to get in your daily fiber contains with only 60 calories per serving and 60% less sugar and calories than other leading juice cocktails.

How to Work Juice Into Your Meal Plan

How to Choose The Right Juice For You

When you are choosing a beverage, it’s not just calories and grams of sugar that matter. Fiber matters too. Fiber helps to slow digestion, allowing you to feel full longer and allowing blood glucose levels to rise and fall more gradually. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can be helpful in managing blood glucose levels as well as cholesterol levels. There is a misconception that fruit juice contains very little to no fiber at all, but that isn’t true for all juices. Both PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light contain fiber from the fruit of the plum, which can be a helpful way to boost your overall daily fiber intake. A high fiber diet is essential to good health. Taking in enough fiber each day can help promote weight maintenance and blood sugar control, in addition to digestive health. So how much juice is okay to have when you have diabetes? When choosing a fiber containing juice, such as PlumSmart Light and Amaz!n Prune Light, you can determine the appropriate portion of juice based on your carbohydrate counting goals. If you are allowed 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal, an 8 ounce serving of PlumSmart Light or a 4-ounce serving of Amaz!n Prune Light could be balanced into a meal containing 30 grams of other carbohydrates.

Boosting Hydration with Flavor

Having juice on hand can also be beneficial in helping you to reach your daily hydration goals. If you struggle to drink enough water each day, adding a hint of flavor to your glass may help you to consume more. Staying hydrated is essential when it comes to managing diabetes. Even slight dehydration can cause your energy levels to drop. And as I am sure you know, it is a lot harder to be motivated to eat well, prepare healthy foods, or exercise when you are tired. In addition, dehydration can cause higher blood glucose levels. As blood glucose levels rise, you can become even more dehydrated as your kidneys try to flush out the excess glucose by producing more urine. Making sure to drink at least eight glasses of water per day (64 ounces total) is key to keeping energy levels up and blood glucose levels down.

If you struggle to drink plain water, why not try adding 2-3 tablespoons of PlumSmart Light or Amaz!n Prune Light to an eight-ounce glass of water for a hint of sweetness. This is a great way to boost the flavor of your drink while consuming minimal amounts of carbohydrates. You can even take it a step further and freeze the juice in an ice cube tray. Then simply add 2-3 cubes per glass for a refreshing beverage that will stay chilled and flavored while you drink.

As you celebrate National Diabetes Month this November, remember that following a diabetes meal plan means that you are eating a well-balanced, nutrient rich diet- a diet that everyone could benefit from regardless of if they have diabetes or not. Don’t set yourself up for feelings of frustration and deprivation by focusing on “yes” and “no” foods, but instead, understand how can you balance the foods and drinks you love into a healthy meal plan.

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