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Is Carrot Juice Good for Diabetes? Glycemic Index and Sugar Content
Diabetes

Is Carrot Juice Good for Diabetes? Glycemic Index and Sugar Content

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 19
88 Views
6 min

Fruit juices typically contain a high amount of sugar that raises blood sugar levels rapidly. As fresh carrot juice is a natural, nutritious source, it may be beneficial for managing diabetes. Read on to discover if drinking carrot juice is a smart choice for people with diabetes.

is carrot juice good for diabetes

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Certain foods can raise a person’s blood glucose levels and cause diabetes complications. Therefore, blood glucose control is critical in handling the condition and reaching diabetes management goals for better overall health.

Lots of people enjoy drinking juice because it has a delicious, sweet flavor. Juice is rich in vitamins and minerals, although it is not healthier than consuming whole fruits and vegetables. That said, it can still bring health benefits when consumed as part of a healthy diet.

Carrot juice is extracted from whole, raw carrots. Among other benefits, eating carrots can boost the immune system, support heart health, and protect the eyes. They may also improve blood sugar levels, keep blood pressure in check, and support weight maintenance.

But can carrot juice provide the same advantages to people with diabetes?

In this article, we cover the nutritional content of carrot juice to determine if it may be worth adding to a diabetes diet.

Is Carrot Juice Good for Diabetes?

Carrot juice may be a good alternative to other fruit and vegetable juices for people with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. The juice does, however, contain carbs and sugar, which can raise blood sugar levels if you drink it in excess. Those with diabetes should monitor carrot juice intake to avoid diabetes complications.

Carrots contain multiple vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin A, and vitamin C, which protect immune cells from free radical damage. They support overall health and contribute to a reduced risk of certain chronic diseases.

Carrot juice has many of the same nutrients as raw carrots. However, it does have less fiber, as much of the fiber content is left behind in the pulp after juicing. It also contains more natural sugars.

Compared to whole carrots, the sugars in carrot juice are absorbed more rapidly into the bloodstream. Therefore, overconsuming the juice can raise blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should limit carrot juice intake as too much can contribute to blood sugar spikes.

Carrot juices may not be the best option for people with uncontrolled diabetes due to their sugar content, as moderate doses may increase already high blood sugar levels.

Is Carrot Juice Good for Type 2 Diabetes?

Drinking carrot juice in small doses may benefit people with type 2 diabetes. It is a low glycemic beverage that doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as much as other vegetable and fruit juices. However, it does have natural sugars and less fiber than whole carrots, which can spike blood sugar content. 

So, the intake of carrot juice should be kept to moderate quantities.

Fermented carrot juice, in particular, may help manage blood glucose levels and insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes. Rat studies have also shown that carrot juice consumption can promote weight loss and reduce body mass index in diabetes.

Losing excess weight is an effective strategy in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Weight loss can significantly improve insulin resistance and sensitivity, lower blood pressure, and reduce heart disease risk.

Glycemic Index of Carrot Juice

Unsweetened carrot juice has a glycemic index score of 40 and a low glycemic load of 2.6. It is categorized as a low glycemic index food that does not significantly raise blood sugar levels. Raw carrots have a lower glycemic index of 16, while boiled carrots vary from 32 to 49.

The glycemic index identifies how likely food or drink is to raise blood sugar levels. Those with a low GI score can help improve blood sugar control by slowing the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.

Does Carrot Juice Have Sugar?

Yes, carrot juice contains natural sugars with 3.91g sugar per 100g serving. Natural sugars are digested more slowly than processed sugars and help keep you feeling full for longer. Due to the high sugar content, people with diabetes should limit how much they drink to manage blood sugar levels.

5 Health Benefits of Carrot Juice for Diabetes

We’ve discussed carrot juice and its effects on blood sugar levels, among other health aspects, to determine its suitability for people with diabetes. Before adding carrot juice to your daily diet, consult your doctor for professional advice.

In the meantime, here are 5 more benefits of drinking carrot juice.

#1 Full of nutrients

A nutritious diet is vital for people to manage blood sugar levels. Carrot juice is a highly nutritious beverage that is low in calories and fat and relatively low in carbs. It contains vitamins A, C, K, and potassium.

Vitamin C may improve glycemic control and reduce blood sugar levels and blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes. Vitamin K also helps regulate glucose levels and improve insulin resistance.

The potassium content provides 15% of the recommended daily amount. Low potassium levels can lead to high blood sugar as the body produces less insulin. An adequate amount of potassium may improve insulin sensitivity and benefit people with diabetes.

#2 Good for heart health

Carrot juices may protect the heart by mitigating risk factors for heart disease. Due to its potassium content, it may lower blood sugar levels and systolic blood pressure.

Fresh carrot juice may protect the overall cardiovascular system by increasing the body’s antioxidant status and decreasing blood lipid oxidation.

#3 May improve eye health

Carrot juice is loaded with carotenoids – plant compounds with antioxidant effects. Beta-carotene is a primary carotenoid in carrot juice that the body uses to produce vitamin A. Vitamin A supports eye health and good vision.

Additional carotenoids in carrot juice include lutein and zeaxanthin. A high dietary intake of these antioxidants can reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.

Eye health is particularly important for diabetes as the condition can harm the eyes. For example, diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that causes damage to the retina. Continuous high blood sugar levels cause it.

#4 Benefits to the skin

This superfood juice is also an excellent booster for skin health. It is rich in vitamin C, which stimulates collagen production – the most abundant fibrous protein that strengthens the skin and supports the recovery and repair of skin cells.

Diabetes can affect the skin, causing conditions such as bacterial and fungal infections to occur more easily. Several skin conditions occur primarily in people with diabetes, such as diabetic dermopathy, which causes small lesions on the skin.

#5 Supports weight loss

Non-starchy vegetables like carrots are great for weight loss as they are low in calories and carbs and are packed with fiber. You can get a good dose of fiber from a glass of carrot juice that will help fill you up and prevent you from overeating or consuming too many calories.

With the right macros plan, carrot juice may be included in moderation when following the keto diet or other low-carb diets. Many people use these diets to manage blood sugar levels better. They also transition the body into the state of ketosis, where your body swaps carbs for fat, promoting faster weight loss.

Healthy eating is one of the first steps to managing diabetes. It’s important to eat a diet filled with fruit, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and adequate water intake to keep blood sugar in check.

A Word From Our Coach

A carrot is a diabetes-friendly vegetable. Carrots support weight loss and may help you get rid of belly fat due to the fiber content. Carrot juices have lower fiber content but are still a relatively good source, with 2g per cup.

Colorful fruits and vegetables are essential to a healthy diet and should be included in the daily diet of people with diabetes. Those with diabetes are advised to eat non-starchy vegetables over starchy vegetables, which are high in carbs and can cause blood sugar levels to rise.

Carrots and other root vegetables like beets, broccoli, and cauliflower are classed as non-starchy vegetables. Juices made from non-starchy vegetables, like carrot, beetroot juice, broccoli juice, and bitter gourd juice, are encouraged over high-sugar fruit juice.

Drinking a glass of carrot juice may be a more convenient way of getting your nutrients from carrots, but remember, the juice variety has less fiber and more sugar. Eating raw fruit and vegetables is always more beneficial to health than the juice form.

So, being mindful of how much carrot juice you drink is critical for blood sugar management.

Conclusion

So, can people with diabetes safely enjoy carrot juice?

Carrot juice contains many of the essential vitamins and minerals as whole carrots, including fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. As the juicing process removes some of the fiber, the liquid does not slow the release of glucose into the blood as much as the whole vegetable.

You can consume the juice in moderation as it still contains sugar and carbs, which can spike your blood sugar levels. In limited amounts, it can provide some health benefits. Just don’t drink excessive amounts of this particular root vegetable juice as it doesn’t tick all the boxes for diabetes.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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