Nutrition for People With or Without Diabetes – it's how we should all eat

Vegetable Juice and Diabetes

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Here is a question I recently received from

Q: I have heard I should avoid fruit juice since I have diabetes.  What about vegetable juices?  Can I have tomato juice and other vegetable juices?

A: Vegetable juice, just like fruit juice, has been processed so that the peel and pulp have been removed. These removed portions are healthy fiber.  Additionally, because these juices  are in liquid form, they easily pass through your stomach and tend to leave you with a less satisfying feeling than had you eaten a whole fruit or vegetable. And then of course, there is always the added sugar and salt that often accompany these juices which you would not find in the natural, whole form.

With that being said, I would never tell you that you cannot have either type of juice. Any food or beverage can be incorporated into a healthy diet. In order to do this however, it is important that you be aware of portions. Fruit juice, depending on the type, has a serving size of 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup for 1 carbohydrate serving, or 15g of carbohydrate. For some, eating 17 grapes sounds more appealing, and filling, than drinking 1/3 cup of grape juice.

Some vegetable juices can pack just as much of a carbohydrate punch as fruit juice. It is important to check the label, just because it is a juice made with a free vegetable like tomato, celery or a blend –  it doesn’t mean the juice will be free of carbohydrates. Vegetable juices can range from 5g of carbohydrate per serving (usually 8oz) to upwards of 20g per serving.

To get the best of both worlds, use a blender (not a juicer) to make your own juices at home from whole fruits or vegetables. Juicers have a compartment that removes the fiber from the liquid, a blender will keep everything, including the fiber, in one place.


Mandy Seay is a registered and licensed dietitian. She works as a nutrition consultant in Austin, Texas specializing in diabetes, weight loss, lipid control and preventative nutrition. For more health articles and nutrition information, check out Mandy’s website Nutritionistics.

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Author: nutritionistics

Mandy Seay is a licensed and registered dietitian (RD) and certified diabetes educator (CDE).

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