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So what about juicing? Is it really as great as people think? Does it fit in a low carbohydrate diet?
My position on this important topic is that juicing does NOT FIT in a low carbohydrate diet. For those who are dealing with insulin resistance and pre-diabetes or full diabetes, this is something that can be very important.
“The reality is that juice is pretty high in carbohydrate. An 8-ounce glass of fruit juice contains about 30 grams of carbohydrate. Most people drink more than 8 ounces. A cup of Dr. Oz’s “Green Drink” which contains apples, celery, spinach, cucumber, lemon, mint, and more, contains 200 calories and 40 grams of carbohydrate. If you’re on a true juice fast, you’d be drinking several of these concoctions every day.” (source)
What are the benefits of juicing? There are several benefits, although juicing has not really be studied all that extensively.
Fruits and vegetables have phytonutrients, that are different from vitamins and minerals. They are very small and individual components, like antioxidants, that are not easily put into a vitamin pill. They also interact together with other components in the vegetable or fruit, so the sum ends up greater than its parts. These fruits and vegetables also have the benefit of phytonutrients when eaten whole. Juicing is not essential to getting the benefit of eating more fruits and veggies.
For those with an inflamed gut, juicing can be an easier way to digest the fruits and vegetables, because there is much less fiber in juice. This of course is a negative for those with insulin resistance, because fiber is something which slows down absorption of glucose (the basic unit of carbohydrates). Those with insulin resistance want the fiber to help to lower the glucose levels.
Juicing typically uses raw fruits and vegetables. There are benefits from eating them raw, that don’t always come with cooked forms. (And can be some cons in some cases as well.) So making sure you are eating some raw vegetables is a wise choice on the low-carb diet.
Not all juice is equal, so there are some possible options that may work for those on the low-carb diet, but I would say that it must be primarily vegetables and it needs to be just a once in a while thing. I found one recipe for a string bean and brussel sprout juice with cucumber and lemon. I don’t know about you, but although I like all those vegetables just fine, it is not appealing to think about juicing them and drinking the juice.
My conclusion is that juicing is not a good idea for those on a low-carbohydrate diet. Vegetables are still important and I recommend eating low-carb veggies like greens, summer squash, green beans, and cucumbers, but not consuming them in juice form.