I am a diabetic. Is it okay to continue drinking your juice or does it contain too much sugar?

Let me begin by saying, I am a huge fan of juice! I like that 100% juice contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, and tastes great. But to answer your question, it is possible to consume too much sugar from juice. It is important to remember that, in moderation, 100% fruit juice can absolutely be a healthy part of your diet. It is filled with vitamins and minerals and can provide a tasty way for you to reach your fluid goals for the day. But, like all foods and beverages, it can certainly be consumed in excess. Typical fruit juice has around~140 calories per 8 ounce serving. One to two servings per day can certainly work as part of a healthy diet. But, imagine if you were to consume 6 or 7 glasses a day. I have some clients that go through a bottle every day! That would provide you anywhere from 800-1000 additional calories in your diet. If you consistently did that and made no other changes to your diet you would likely gain around 2 extra pounds a week! Multiply this by a year and the excess juice would have packed on ~96 pounds in one year! That kind of weight gain is very dangerous and may increase risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

When counseling my patients on weight loss and healthy eating, the first thing I evaluate is how many “liquid calories” they are consuming. Most times people don’t think to count those calories into how many they are consuming each day. Many people don’t realize that a soda here or there or a glass of juice all adds up and may be causing them to gain weight. Take, for example, a whole apple vs. a glass of apple juice. Both can have around the same amount of calories but generally eating the apple takes longer, increases metabolism through the digestive process, and helps people feel fuller longer, causing them to consume less throughout the day. The juice may taste good but it doesn’t take long to consume and usually breaks down very quickly in our system, which doesn’t leave people feeling satisfied.

I am a huge fan of juice. But personally, I would rather eat my calories! So I generally will have ~one to two glasses of 100% Old Orchard juice per day. For my clients that are trying to lose weight, I recommend the Old Orchard Healthy Balance Juice or the Cranberry Juice Cocktails, as both have a reduced calorie and sugar content. Many of my mom friends will serve their kids modified juice. They use a ½ glass of regular juice and fill the rest of the glass with water or club soda. So…be sure to find a “healthy balance” with how much juice you consume!

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