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Beware smoothies, embrace veggies

DiabetesHeart Disease

It was excellent that readers could see that experts say smoothies and fruit drinks could sabotage their healthy diets ("Debate swirls over juicing," Sept. 5). Doctors have known this for years.

I've told hundreds of patients that I have a pound of tomatoes and a pound of celery in the blender every day. My "V2" has no added sodium like purchased V8. A tomato carries seeds and follows a flower on the vine, so it is a fruit. It has more potassium and less calories than bananas, pound for pound. Two and one-quarter pounds a day is enough to lower blood pressure 10 millimeters of mercury, per a study of Johns Hopkins and Harvard hospital employees.

Diabetes is more likely with soda or fruit drinks. Get away from them! Everyone should have their glycosolated hemoglobin checked — even pre-diabetes increases the risk of heart disease and death. Professor Joanne Slavin urges more fiber in the article. My grandparents urged barley and oats because "they would stick to your ribs." Turns out barley has 31 grams and oats 15 grams of fiber per cup. Fiber means their calories take longer to be absorbed.

Corn, white rice, white bread and potatoes instead result in more diabetes. My vegan patient who uses a juicer eats the extracted fibers on salad. Even cheaper than some juicers is my $20 blender. Finally, I've gardened to pick tomatoes I didn't have to purchase. Six plants have given 100 pounds in a year.

Theodore Houk, Lutherville

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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