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My husband and I have recently started juicing. I’ve had type 1 diabetes for 17 years. I’m also participating in a ”farm to work” program where I receive a box of organically grown local fruits and vegetables each week (then take home). I want to find some recipes for juicing that won’t cause the astronomical rise in my blood sugar that the fruit juices I’ve been drinking so far have caused. The continuous glucose monitor I wore for three days showed a rise of 400 points in thirty minutes. I’ve tried adding whey/soy protein powder and some pulp to the juice to slow the rise in blood sugar but the juice is still causing my blood sugar to rise like a rocket. Obviously fruits have considerable sugar and carbs, and when broken down by the juicer seem to be causing this fast rise. If I do vegetable only juices (and include the protein powder and some of the pulp) will this make my blood sugar react more reasonably? What ingredients would you suggest that will cause a slower increase in blood sugar (so the insulin I take can keep up with the juice)?

When whole fruits are consumed, you obtain fiber, which may help to slow the absorption of the sugar in the fruit.  Most juicers remove the fiber, which remains as pulp.  Additionally, you may be consuming more sugar because more fruits are being used to make a serving of juice than you would eat at a sitting.  Thus, more carbohydrate is being consumed.  Vegetables have less carbohydrate, and you may find that vegetable juices do not cause the same spike in blood sugar, although the fiber is also removed, and the carbohydrate in the juice would still need to be accounted for.  You should count the number of carbohydrate grams  that you would count for the fruit or vegetable if you were to eat it whole.  Generally, mixed meals that contain carbohydrate, protein, fat , as well as fiber are the best way to prevent the spike in blood sugar, with consideration of the grams of carbohydrate you are allowed at an eating occasion in relation to your insulin. I would encourage you to speak with a registered dieitian or certified diabetes educator about how to fit the homemade juices into your diet. 

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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