Since we were kids, we’ve always been told it’s important to have enough vitamin C in our diet. In many cases, that came in the form of oranges. Obviously, there can be a serious issue with orange juice. Even with pulp, it lacks enough fiber to slow the ingestion of all that sugar. Sure, it has a lot of vitamin C, but it also can have other adverse effects for someone who is predisposed to diabetes. There are times when drinking orange juice, for most people, would be fine. Such is after vigorous exercise. Each person is different.
As a health, fitness, nutrition, or personal training professional, it’s imperative that you guide your client to making good decisions before and after their exercise sessions in addition to the other 23 or so hours in each day. Making this simple change in someone’s daily dietary habits can dramatically shift their booking sugar regulation, body fat levels and energy consistency.
When you ingest too much sugar in the form of juice, our body goes through several processes to try and regulate the excess sugar levels in our blood.
Here’s what happens in your body:
Rapid absorption: Juices are high in sugar content, and the sugar in juice is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream as compared to whole fruits. This leads to a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
Insulin response: In response to the rapid increase in blood sugar levels, the pancreas releases insulin to help move the sugar from the blood into the cells where it can be used for energy. This insulin response can be exaggerated in some people, leading to a sudden drop in blood sugar levels, known as a “sugar crash”. Learn what fitness professional should know about training clients with diabetes and blood sugar regulation issues.
Increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes: Consuming too much sugar over time can lead to weight gain, and eventually, obesity. It also increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Here is a great educational review for nutrition and fitness professionals about diabetes.
Inflammation and other health problems: Consuming excessive sugar can also lead to chronic inflammation, which has been linked to various health problems such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Here is a list of multiple serious acute and chronic illnesses caused by inflammation in the body.
Nutrient deficiencies: Consuming too much sugar can displace nutrient-dense foods in your diet, leading to nutrient deficiencies.
Consuming too much sugar in the form of juice can lead to several negative effects on our health, including an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies. It’s important to consume sugar in moderation and choose whole fruits over juices to avoid the negative consequences of excessive sugar consumption.
Here are some fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, but low in sugar:
Bell peppers: Red and green bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C and contain only 3-4 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C and contain only 2.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Broccoli: Broccoli is also a good source of vitamin C, containing about 89 mg per 100 grams, and has only 1.7 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Cauliflower: Cauliflower is another cruciferous vegetable that is high in vitamin C and low in sugar, with only 1.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Kale: Kale is a leafy green vegetable that is packed with vitamin C and has only 1 gram of sugar per 100 grams.
Kiwifruit: Kiwifruit is another sweet fruit that is low in sugar and high in vitamin C, with about 92.7 mg per 100 grams.
Strawberries: Strawberries are a sweet but low-sugar fruit that are high in vitamin C, with about 58.8 mg per 100 grams.
IMPORTANT NOTE: While these fruits and vegetables are relatively low in sugar, it’s still important to eat them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
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NESTA Certified Personal Fitness Trainer
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Spencer Institute Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach