Are you into juicing? So what did your recent juice contain? Very likely some sort of sweet-tasting fruit, such as apple, orange, watermelon, or pineapple. Why?
Because it tastes good, because it is cheap, because it is easy and common to juice, and because it is requires little preparation and clean up. These likely are your primary reasons. The secondary reason is because you perceive it to be healthy. But is it?
If you are looking to slim down, improve detoxification and boost energy you need to have this one rule embedded in your head: NO JUICING OF FRUITS!!!
Fruit juices can cause blood sugar spikes more than sugar itself
Every food containing carbohydrates contains sugars. These sugars digest differently while in different foods. To compare its “digestibility” each food has been given a number called glycemic index.
Glycemic index tells how fast this sugar is digested, or in other words, how high blood sugar will spike after eating it. The higher the number the higher the spike. To prevent erratic behavior of your blood sugar look for products with the lowest number you can get.
Glycemic index numbering
100 is just the reference point. This glycemic index number was arbitrarily assigned to 50 g of glucose. It’s no brainer. Any food with glycemic index of 100 is equivalent to blood sugar spike from ingesting 50 g of glucose.
What about table sugar? Table sugar is different from glucose and so is its glycemic index.
50g of table sugar has a glycemic index of 65. This is much less than glucose. But how much is 50 g of sugar? A tablespoon, a cup? Neither. 50g of sugar fits in 1/3 cup or appears as 14 sugar cubes.
Why this is important to know? Because food that has glycemic number higher than 65 will spike blood sugar more than 14 cubes of table sugar. Let’s see how some of the fruits you juice score when compared to table sugar.
- 50g of apple is at 36. That’s good news, because that’s only as if you eat 8 cubes of sugar,
- 50g of orange is at 43. That’s good news, too, as it is like 9 sugar cubes,
- 50 g of pineapple is at 59. That’s not such a good news, because that’s already 13 cubes, and
- 50g of watermelon is at 76. That’s equivalent to 16 sugar cubes. And this is exactly why you love watermelon – the sugar effect!
But fruit is not the same as fruit juice. Juicing increases glycemic index, so expect a bigger blood sugar spike when you eat your fruit juiced.
Fruit juicing is equivalent to drinking sugary water
Nobody just eats 50g of fruits in one serving. That’s too little.
- An average apple weighs 100g,
- an orange about 200g,
- 1 cup of pineapple chunks is about 170g, and
- 1 cup of watermelon balls about 150g.
Glycemic index fails when portions vary in size, but this is wher glycemic load comes in. Glycemic load takes into consideration not only what’s on your plate, but also how much.
Glycemic load is something you should know if you care about your weight, sugar spikes, want to reverse pre-diabetes, or manage diabetes better.
- keeping your glycemic load below 10 per meal, AND
- keeping your stomach satisfied for the next 3 hours.
If you keep your glycemic load low, but are hungry before 3 hours elapse, you are doing something wrong. Inappropriate hunger and frequent snacking is what underlies the obesity epidemics. Don’t follow a wrong advice. Many diabetics are told that orange juice is good to drink. I disagree. It is true that a cup of orange juice has low glycemic load (12), but it won’t keep you satiated for 3 hours.
Glycemic load surprises
If you are curious about the numbers here there are:
- glycemic load of 50 g of glucose is 10
- glycemic load 50 g (1/3 cup) of table sugar is 6
- one apple or an orange is about 6
- 1 cup of pineapple chunks about 11 (oops!!!), and
- 1 cup of watermelon about 6.
Now let’s go back to juicing. A cup of orange juice is not equal to one orange. It usually packs in two, three, or four oranges. That easily doubles or triples your glycemic numbers and equally the sugar load your body has to deal with.
There is one more problem with liquefying fruits. It increases their digestibility. This may sound good, but it really isn’t. The higher digestibility the faster the energy drop.
You may think that your hunger, cravings, yawning and fatigue shortly after the juice are incidental, but they aren’t. They are likely related to the trendy, but not so healthy fruit juicing habit.
Do juices provide good nutritional value? You will be surprised again. This myth will be covered in Part 3