Whole fruit or juice: what's better for your blood glucose?

Juice cleanse is a health and wellness trend that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Fans of juice diets, or juice fasts, primarily emphasize the benefits that come with drinking juice, such as weight loss or improved nutrient absorption. 

While juices are a concentrated source of beneficial nutrients, they are also a concentrated source of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. Let’s take a closer look at that. 

How does a glass of fruit juice affect blood sugar? 

Juices contain many carbohydrates in the form of sugar, which can contribute to a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. For example, a glass (200ml) of orange juice contains 20 grams of sugar. 

Processing the fruit removes much of the fiber from fruits and vegetables. If this fiber is missing, the sugar from these foods is absorbed into the blood more quickly. The result is a faster rise in your blood sugar level. The following rapid drop in blood sugar levels can then cause headaches, hunger or, if you have a juice later in the evening, sleep problems. 

Think about how long it takes you to eat 2-3 oranges or drink a glass (200ml) of orange juice. 2-3 oranges is about the amount contained in a glass of orange juice. Most people would agree that it is much easier and faster to drink this amount of orange juice than to peel, slice, chew and swallow 2-3 whole oranges.

If you keep this example in mind, it’s easier to understand that eating the whole fruit – and not just the juice – results in a slow and controlled rise in blood sugar levels. This is also because the process of consumption takes longer.

So are smoothies better?

Now, if you’re considering drinking a smoothie instead of just fruit juice, we recommend adding protein and fat to your smoothie. This combination results in a slower blood sugar rise compared to pure fruit juice. 

Green smoothies are usually high in vegetables and therefore lower blood sugar, assuming there is no apple or other fruit juice added.

Are juice diets unhealthy? 

So, is it safe to say that juice fasts or juice diets are recommended, even if blood sugar rises and falls sharply?

We, at Hello Inside, believe that there is nothing wrong with having a juice fast day now and then, as long as you feel good about it. However, it is important to remember that this is not a long-term form of nutrition, and can also bring unpleasant side effects, such as headaches, hunger or fatigue.

In general, we do not recommend giving up fruits and vegetables. To help you balance your blood sugar, we have collected the following 5 tips.

Our tips: 

  1. Eat your fruit as unprocessed as possible and choose whole fruits
  2. If possible, leave the skin on
  3. Combine your fruit juices or smoothies with protein and fat
  4. Choose vegetable juices (green smoothies) when possible 
  5. Pay attention to portion size

Are you ready to look inside?

Find what works best for you with hello inside

Marie-Luise Huber

Luise has spent the last 15 years learning about nutrition and coaching people toward healthy behaviors. Before becoming Head of Nutrition at Hello Inside, she helped parents plan proper lunches for their children. Luise also optimized food ingredients in Central and Eastern European countries. She supported 1000+ people of all ages on their weightless journey. Her favorite tip to balance blood glucose is moving her body because Luise loves to run, ski or bike. And she loves to bake (not always blood glucose friendly).

more posts from author

Marie-Luise Huber

Luise has spent the last 15 years learning about nutrition and coaching people toward healthy behaviors. Before becoming Head of Nutrition at Hello Inside, she helped parents plan proper lunches for their children. Luise also optimized food ingredients in Central and Eastern European countries. She supported 1000+ people of all ages on their weightless journey. Her favorite tip to balance blood glucose is moving her body because Luise loves to run, ski or bike. And she loves to bake (not always blood glucose friendly).

more posts from author

Rate this Post:*

>

"*" indicates required fields

Step 1 of 7

HI, welcome to the sign up form for the HELLO INSIDE early access group. You'll be contacted to be the among the first ones to kick start your journey to unlocking your better self 🙌