I am often asked if there should be a concern for the sometimes high sugar content in fresh made juices and fruits and vegetables. Let’s clear things up…
It is very important to make the distinction between added sugars and sugars that are naturally occurring in foods like fruits and vegetables.
Comparing the naturally occurring sugar content of fresh produce and juice with processed sugar or soda and stating they are the same, is as simplistic as comparing the calories of an apple to a biscuit and saying they are the same. Judging a food simply on one factor is too simple and leads to incorrect assumptions about their effect on your overall health.
While fruits and vegetables are absolutely necessary for good health, added sugars are not and are highly implicated with many health problems. Refined sugar has been stripped of its nutrients and offers only empty calories. When refined sugars are consumed in excess, your cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar will increase and this will promote inflammation and disease over a period of time. Consuming natural sugars in whole fruits, vegetables and fresh juice will actually reduce these health concerns listed above due to the dense nutrition and antioxidant content. Fruits and vegetables also contain many other compounds that delay the entrance of sugar into your bloodstream, these being plant nutrients, compounds, enzymes, water and fibre. This is often seen during a Reboot.
Nutrients that occur alongside naturally occurring sugars found in fruits and vegetables are vitally important for the maintenance and regulation of blood sugar such as magnesium, B vitamins, chromium, manganese, antioxidants and other phytonutrients found in fresh fruits and vegetables.
Naturally occurring compounds found in fruits and vegetables play a strong role in the maintenance of blood sugar control, for example:
- Apples and pears contain pectin a soluble fibre that helps regulate blood sugar.
- Blueberries contain antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve blood sugar, insulin sensitivity and adipose tissue by 22% over placebo.
- Grapefruit contains specialized antioxidants such as naringenin, that has shown to improve insulin sensitivity and help maintain a healthy weight
- Greens such as spinach, green beans, carrots and broccoli contain chromium which is a mineral that regulates and supports healthy blood sugar levels.
- Compounds in certain vegetables such as the bitter melon also support the health of the pancreas which produces hormones that maintain and regulate blood sugar levels and energy levels.
- Soluble fibre also controls the absorption of sugar within the intestines and this is still present in fresh juices.
- Lemons, artichokes, broccoli, cabbages, cauliflower and onions have also been shown to lower blood glucose levels.
There are also certain spices that can be included with your food, smoothies and juices that will actually assist in regulating your blood sugar such as cinnamon, turmeric, chilli and ginger.
If You’re on a Reboot
We also recommend that when juicing on a Reboot, you follow the Reboot Golden Rule: consume approximately 80% vegetables and 20% fruit over the day to ensure that you do not consume too much naturally occurring sugar. The recommendation is to ensure optimum success. Too much sugar in any form can cause and aggravate blood glucose irregularities.
Fruit contains hundreds of important nutrient compounds and juicing fruits will offer an intense antioxidant intake, but it’s important to ensure that the bulk of your juice is from vegetables. It is also important to note that excess starchy vegetables can also cause blood sugar spikes in some individuals so this maybe important to consider in person with insulin resistance, diabetes or hypoglycaemia. Here is more on how to manage your sugar intake while Rebooting.
Juices Can Help Your Blood Sugar Levels
Many people who have had the all clear from their doctor and who have diabetes or insulin resistance actually in fact have improved blood sugar while completing a juice fast which is contradictory to what many people believe to be the case. Many Rebooters have successfully improved their blood sugar, reduced their medication and lost weight on this program and have also maintained their health benefits by following our dietary suggestions beyond the reboot.
There are many options in a juice fast or Reboot to help maintain healthy blood sugar such as:
- Adding a good Reboot- friendly protein to a juice.
- Adding chia seeds with the added fibre, protein and essential fatty acids to a juice or water.
- Adding a super food such as Spirulina.
- Regulating sugar intake from fruits and vegetables by consuming more non-starchy vegetables during the Reboot or beyond.
Even when you add one glass of juice per day to your diet you will feel more energised, while you are less likely to eat other unhealthy foods, less likely to binge, more likely to be switched onto your more natural cues of appetite and hunger.
You can explore the long list of Reboot Success Stories and the many letters, emails and comments on our Reboot community where people have experienced great success during and beyond a Reboot.
So enjoy the naturally occurring sugars and other important nutrients knowing you are doing a wonderful thing for your health!
Looking to break your cravings for added sugar? We’ve got a Reboot for that — our Guided Reboot for Sugar Addiction kicks off on September 29, and will train your brain to have healthier cravings (like produce!). For our 30-day program, you’ll commit to five days of eating, blending and juicing only whole fruits and vegetables, followed by 25 days of consuming only juice. During the program, we’ll offer daily online support as well as five live webinars with Coach Rachel during key moments of the Reboot.