Diabetics and Juicing - A Personal Adventure
Why I got a juicer
Juicing and diabetes from a personal perspective? This is intended as a little diary to share what happens to anyone who might be interested and I know there are conflicting opinions out there so I may share a few and let you decide. I used to have a juicer many, many moons ago and it got broken in the process of moving things around in the house. It wasn't a big deal, just the pulp container, but I lost heart. Recently a friend was diagnosed with prostate cancer and said he could probably fix up and use the juicer, so we gave it to him and he was reporting improved PSA levels. Knowing the increased levels of micronutrients in juiced vegetables, I was not really surprised. I put the idea of juicing on the back burner for a while. Then I saw Jason Vale's amazing documentary. For about 6 or 7 years I have been experiencing horrible psoriasis, so I was tempted. It was time to invest in a new juicer and tackle the problem.
Now the complication is Type 2 diabetes. I am not hugely overweight, but since giving up swimming in my teens I have put on about three stones in weight and I would be happy to lose two of them! I have maybe lost 3 or 4 pounds since being diagnosed diabetic just under 2 years ago, but my diet has been low carb and pretty strict for years due to potato allergy and high blood pressure. There is no way I would do a full on juice detox and diet without consulting my diabetic nurse, but a day or so of sensible juicing couldn't hurt. So here goes....
The picture shows my new juicer at the ready in my very untidy kitchen... boy, does the coffee tea and vitamin corner need a going over! This is my own picture of the Phillips HR 1861 Juicer so please do not copy!
This style of juicer is a little different from mine, but comes very highly recommended.
The Delivery Fiasco
And why I love shopping on Amazon
The logical place for me to buy my juicer was Amazon UK. I have Prime membership which is great and past experience has taught me shopping for this sort of thing in Lincolnshire can involve long route marches, failure and, ultimately, having to buy online anyway. I therefore bought my Phillips HR 1861 Juicer from Amazon UK, now the seller obviously wasn't reading that part about Amazon Prime being next day delivery, so time from order to receipt was extended a little.
This should not have been a problem except that the seller chose to dispatch via DPD rather than Royal Mail. Now I can think of a lot of things DPD might stand for, not many of them complementary. In my experience they often make mistakes and deliver at the wrong address, and this they did. Fortunately I kept a record of the depot phone number from the last debacle. The tracking email was claiming it was delivered and signed for! Panic! Where? Certainly not to us!
Apparently DPD would not proceed without Amazon making a complaint either. The last time this happened, they issued a refund so I contacted them through my Amazon account. They immediately offered a replacement, found that the seller hadn't got one and then offered a refund - and would I let them know if the DPD driver recovered the parcel and delivered it correctly? This is the level of service Amazon provide and they have always been friendly and most helpful.
Nothing and no word came from DPD of course and then about 7-30 in the evening a young man came round to our house and said "Someone left this by my front door while I was out at work. Is it yours?" He was not even on our street! I phoned Amazon and gave them permission to make a recharge, they thanked me for my honesty.... I still have to hear from DPD.... Oh well!
Juicers on Amazon - What is available to help you get started
Now Phillips is the model that Jason Vale recommends, but there are many that are equally good.
A big mouth juicer helps because you can throw in whole vegetables and fruit without having to chop them up.
My first vegetable juice experience
Two glasses of really creamy goodness.
Being diabetic, I am very cautious of juicing fruits for now, but I thought starting with the sort of vegetables I regularly eat couldn't hurt. I juiced 3 carrots, a celery heart, a good chunk of root ginger, a quarter of a cucumber and three tomatoes. This made enough juice to fill two small glasses to the brim so we had one glass each right away. I have never been a huge fan of commercial vegetable juice but this was great. It was surprisingly creamy and filling, not just thin juice.
After juicing and drinking comes the cleaning part. Not too bad as all the parts detach. They are dishwasher safe apparently, but I don't have a dishwasher so I did the job by hand - but not before retrieving the pulp. Extracting the juice removes 90% of the nutrients, but fibre is good for you so tonight we will be enjoying a curry soup containing the pulp from today's little experiment. More later on that, for now I have simply added water, lentils and barley and boiled it up to stop any bacterial growth and get that barley soaking up all the flavour. It smells great as a soup base!
Later in the evening I made a curry base with onion, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, star anise, turmeric, garam masala, a little salt and pepper and some low fat yogurt. To this I added some fresh red chillis, cauliflower, edumame beans, peas and the soup base and cooked it until the veggies were done. It made a tasty and satisfying supper for three people! YAY for soup!
This looks extremely similar to my juicer, down to the aluminium body and the lever clamps.
Juicing and Diabetes - Discussions and links
I certainly read a lot of this stuff before I started using my juicer. It is important if you are diabetic to fully understand the pros and cons of juicing.
- Green Smoothie Recipes For Type 2 Diabetes | Incredible Smoothies
One of THE biggest questions I get is about whether or not diabetics should consume green smoothies.
- Worst foods for diabetics
Joy points out some pretty obvious food villains, but did you know too much fruit juice could be dangerous? I did....
- Fruit juice and type 2 diabetes - Health news - NHS Choices
News article about a study which investigated women's diet and risk of diabetes over 18 years. High fruit juice intake was shown to increase risk.
A more powerful juicer helps get all the goodness from the vegetables and fruit.
Zero Calorie Foods
Not necessarily safe for diabetes....
I keep a list of "zero calorie foods" on my fridge. It helps with the munchies from time to time, and I am quite happy to share those foods with you. However not all of them are safe to juice in large quantities if you are diabetic. This is because the insoluble fibre, cellulose, is hard to break down in the human body and travels through largely undigested. Break these fibres down with a high speed juicer and you get far more of the nutrients than you could ever get from eating them.
This is great for people in full health, but all the sugars in fruit (and some vegetables) are going to cause blood sugars to spike. Be careful with oranges and apples in particular and limit the number you juice. You can also save the pulp for baking and making healthier bread or, heaven forbid, cake.
You probably noticed in my photo that I had a pack of Light at Heart on the side. This is a mix of sugar and Stevia that I use very sparingly indeed. I now have a jar of stevia only which is better and lovely on strawberries. I don't bake much, but when I do I tend to use banana and stevia rather than sugar.
A larger model, suitable for bigger kitchens than mine.
Zero Calorie Foods - My Fridge List
Is there such a thing really?
The theory behind this? Some foods burn more energy in digestion than they supply. Now I am not sure if I actually believe this miraculous idea, but I do know that the foods on this list make healthier snacks than cookies and pretzels. I am not sure how much that applies once they are juiced, because using a powerful centrifugal juicer liberates all that goodness. Still, I doubt you could eat or drink enough of these to make yourself fat. It is the cooking, or dressing that adds calories and of course what you eat them with.
Here is my fridge list of zero calorie noms! As far as I know all of these are safe to eat raw (even chilli and garlic) although if you are diabetic, be careful of juicing too many fruits at once.
Apple, asparagus, beet, blackberries, blueberries, broccoli, cranberry, cantaloupe, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chicory, chilli, cucumber, dandelion, endive, garden cress, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, green bean, honeydew melon, peppers, lemon, lime, lettuce, mango, onion, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, radish, raspberries, spinach, spring onions, strawberries, tomato, tangerine, turnip, watermelon, zucchini (courgette)
Recent Diabetic Check Up
And an update on the juicing....
My long term sugars were showing the diabetes is well maintained with little change from the last reading. The diabetic nurse is very pleased that I seem to have halted the disease process and that no increase in medication is necessary. I spoke to her about the juicing and she said it was a healthy thing to do, but to be careful how much fruit I was juicing in a day. When I explained that it was two juices, fruit in the morning and veggies in the evening, and that I was using the pulp in sugar free muffins and soups which the two of us shared, she said that sounded fine. I think if you went overboard and made a fruit juice every hour or so and wolfed the lot, it might cause a sugar spike. My sugars are fine at 46. That is good to know.
To be honest, the juicer does not remove all the fibre, it only removes the insoluble fibre. The juices that come out are much thicker and creamier than those you buy in the store which are concentrated and have zero fibre content. Diabetics should avoid store bought juice - and "juice drinks" of course which are laden with extra sugar and sweeteners!
I hope you enjoyed this page and found it helpful. Thank you for visiting and please feel free to let us know your experiences here.
© 2013 Lisa Marie Gabriel