A lot of people believe in juicing for health. They believe that fruit juices are healthy because of the vitamins and nutrients contained in them. Fruit juice is healthy with regards to nutrient content but the act of juicing removes fibre. This causes fruit juices to disturb blood sugar balance and causes a spike in the insulin hormone. Prolonged spikes can cause insulin resistance.
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Fruit Juicing for Health
A study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers investigated the effects of consuming whole oranges and orange juice. The meals had the same amount of carbohydrate content.
Researchers reported that consuming orange juice caused blood insulin to spike. When whole oranges were consumed, insulin hormone release was gradual. Researchers concluded that the fibre content of fruit blunts the body’s insulin hormone response to fruit sugar.
Another interesting study was published in the Journal Lancet.This time the participants were given three food choices. These were whole apples, apple purée or apple juice. The researchers ensured once again that all meals had the same carbohydrate content. Fibre-free apple juice could be absorbed by the body eleven times faster than intact apples and four times faster than apple purée.
Juicing for health was a defective strategy as fruit juices caused a spike in the insulin hormone.
Fruit Juices Spike Insulin Levels
Due to the similar carbohydrate content of the meals, blood sugar levels in the Lancet study rose to the same level after all three meals. The striking difference was how fast this peak glucose level was reached and how fast it subsided there after. The fastest rise and drop in glucose level was reached after consuming apple juice. Apple purée also had a sharp rise and drop but it was slightly slower than apple juice. A whole apple meal had a very gradual increase in blood sugar level and a gradual decline.
The pancreas releases the insulin hormone to force glucose into cells. A sudden spike in blood glucose levels would result in a spike in insulin. The researchers found that insulin rose to higher levels after juice and purée than after consuming whole apples. The higher levels of insulin released by drinking apple juice would also be left circulating in the blood stream longer.
The removal of fibre from food results in unhealthy insulin spikes. It also decreases satiety and disturbs blood glucose balance which is probably due to insulin spikes. The researchers also said that if often repeated, might lead to diabetes mellitus.
Eat the Fruit Whole
There is no clear benefit in fruit juices for health. Consuming fruit juices disrupts blood sugar balance and causes unhealthy insulin hormone spikes. High levels of blood insulin hormone levels lead to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and ultimately diabetes. We have to strive to keep insulin levels in check. Eat the fruit whole for the most health benefits.