Squeezing Fact from Fiction about Juice and Diabetes

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Foods from plants are best for preventing, treating and yes, often even reversing type 2 diabetes. Members of the Plant-Based Nutrition Support Group know that a dietary pattern made up primarily of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits has helped many, many people. Where does juice fit in? After all, juice made from fruits, or fruits  and vegetables contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, polyphenols – all substances known to be necessary for our health. If you’ve seen the movie, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” you are familiar with how one man cured his diabetes, obesity and other medical concerns by consuming nothing but juice.

As a nurse practitioner and a certified diabetes educator, here’s my take: For most people who are trying to reverse diabetes, it is best to eat your calories, not drink them. Chewing our food helps to promote satiety, the feeling of fullness that helps to keep us from eating more than we need. Unprocessed, whole fruits and veggies are full of fiber, a nutrient that is deficient in the Standard American Diet and one that should replace our country’s obsession with protein! But I digress… If a speedy smoothie in the morning is the only way you can get those fruits and veggies in before you dash out the door, it is certainly a better choice than a sausage-egg sandwich. However, if you are having trouble getting to your weight or blood sugar goals, consider ditching the juice or smoothie habit. With a little planning the night before, you can have washed fruits and veggies ready to take with you, or try some Overnight Oats (rolled oats soaked in non-dairy milk or water) topped with fresh or frozen berries and a few crushed walnuts for a delicious, chewable start to your day!