tomato juice

Figuring out how to adapt what you eat and when is a big challenge for people who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes. Once you find something that works well, it makes sense to stick with it, as this reader did.

Switching to Tomato Juice:

Q. I used to eat yogurt, apples or oranges before I went to bed. I am a type 2 diabetic.

Recently I changed to drinking tomato juice before bed. My morning blood sugar has been below 100 ever since. Before that, it was usually around 120. Could tomato juice be lowering my blood sugar?

Less Sugar Before Bed:

A. We are delighted to learn of your success with tomato juice. It might be due to less sugar in the juice compared to your previous bedtime snacks. A cup of yogurt, an apple and an orange each contain between 15 and 18 grams of carbohydrate, while 8 ounces of tomato juice contains about 10 grams.

The few studies that have been done showed no effect of tomato juice or raw tomatoes on blood sugar (Diabetes Care, June, 2000; International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, May, 2011).

What Else Can You Use to Manage Your Blood Sugar?

There are many other non-drug approaches that can be valuable for people with type 2 diabetes, including a number of foods and spices. We are sending you our Guide to Managing Diabetes with our 10 key steps for keeping blood sugar in check.

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is an Indian vegetable that lowers blood sugar. Tomatoes can be used in a tasty sauce that makes bitter melon much more appealing (Nutrition Journal, July 28, 2011).

Learn more about bitter melon, cinnamon, vinegar, nopal cactus and fenugreek for helping control blood sugar in our Guide to Managing Diabetes. You will also get the straight and skinny on the best veggies for blood sugar control and the pros and cons of popular diabetes drugs. Even if your blood glucose numbers are near normal, we think our dietary recommendations make sense for just about everyone.

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  1. Martha

    I am not diabetic but sometimes have problems getting to sleep or waking up in the middle of the night and staying awake. I use Celestial Seasonings Classic Sleepytime caffeine free tea and find that I usually go back to sleep. It contains chamomile, spearmint and lemon grass blend.

  2. Janet

    I find control of morning blood sugars best by limiting total daily carbohydrates to 20g (Dr. Eric Westman’s No Sugar, No Starch plan at Duke) or 30g (Dr. Richard Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution) with 3 meals and no snacks. This reduces blood sugar swings and hunger, even at night, so cravings and sleep problems disappear.

  3. Luke

    If you have to snack at night–which is a good way to get even more obese–your insulin medication is poorly managed. Drinking tomato juice has a high amount of salt in it too.

  4. Gary S

    I was diagnosed 3 years ago, but they think I was diabetic for 7 years prior. My BG in the mornings typically is between 70-95. At about an hour before bedtime, several hours after dinner, I snack on 2-3 3″ sticks of celery with peanut butter liberally applied. It is a delicious way to end the day; satisfying and greatly helps my morning glucose levels.

  5. jean

    I have been a diabetic for several years, and when I first started taking 1mg of glimepiride, there were times when my blood sugar dropped to the 50’s and I would have to have a snack. I carried them with me at all times. In December of 2011 I had to have a blood transfusion of 4 pints of blood due to bleeding ulcers, in January 2012 I got a blood clot from the transfusion and had to have a blood thinner which caused the ulcer to start bleeding again and had to have 8 pints of blood in another transfusion. In other words I had it rough for awhile.
    While in the hospital, my blood sugar went haywire and they had to give me insulin shots the whole time. When I went to my regular physician he increased the glimepiride to 2mg. My blood sugar has rarely been below 200 even tho I have been watching my diet, recently he put me on 1mg at bedtime, it hasn’t helped. My a1c was 8.6, and I decided to go to an endocronologist and he put me on 500mg metformin 2 times daily along with the glimepiride. Blood sugar readings are below 200 but not below 180. I don’t go back to the specialist until 4/22, what else can I do?


    celery helps to control blood pressure too. I tried it and it works! The doctor has put off prescribing any drugs for my blood pressure.

  7. PP

    if I can’t sleep wither getting to sleep, or getting back to sleep after going to the bathroom, a small bowl of cheerios and a melatonin pill, put me right back to sleep.

  8. VFC

    Our snacks should always include protein or else we have these “breakthrough” hunger attacks. The protein in dairy products is usually not enough. Keeping boiled eggs handy can make a difference.

  9. Eli

    You might try a little celery seeds sprinkled on the tomato juice. Its delicious and I heard it has some health benefits also.

  10. O.G.

    I’m a LADA diabetic, a.k.a. “Type 1.5,” and find that a bedtime snack balancing 6 carbs (two pieces of Kavli flatbread) with some butter (zero carbs) and two pieces of cheese (zero carbs) does well for getting me through the night without serious hypoglycemic episodes. The 10 grams of carbohydrate in the tomato juice by itself would not be helpful to me, let alone the 45 grams of carb (!) in the fruit and yogurt snack. My blood sugar would skyrocket.
    Having said that, if it works, don’t fix it! Type 2 is a horse of a different color from what I call my “Type Weird,” and as I’ve learned since my diagnosis, everyone’s diabetes (and situation) is different. Whatever brings that BG down! :-)
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: You are so right that each person must monitor his or her own reactions.

  11. LAL

    Your email could have been written by me. I have never known anyone else who has to get up and eat something in order to go back to sleep. I feel queezy until I eat then am able to go back to sleep.
    Milk helps me. I am hypoglycemic so maybe these nights my body may be telling me something.

  12. Carol

    A naturopath suggested always eating protein with fruits or sugary foods; the protein slows down the absorption of sugar. Sugar produces high energy and can wake one up from a good sleep. Try eating a protein snack at bedtime!

  13. Steve M. F.

    I would like to be notified on follow-up comments and/or suggestions. Thank You!

  14. john m

    Hello. I invite all type II diabetics and others who suffer these complications to visit Since we started the program, I have dropped 50 pounds. Yet before the weight loss, my blood sugars normalized, my sleep improved, my skin condition healed, and amazingly, my wife’s arthritic pain has disappeared. Also, for the first time in about 30 years, I am off of ALL medications. Thankfully, we first heard Dr. Hyman on some wonderful radio show called “The Peoples Pharmacy.” :)

  15. kjm

    Forgive me for butting in but the insomnia issue hit home too hard to be ignored. I don’t have diabetes or other major problems, take no script meds but synthroid, donnatal, tessalon. Will be very interested in the further discussion of this topic.

  16. Please keep me informed...

    Thank you for sharing this topic.
    I too have issues with late night. I am hungry, or at least my tummy is upset unless I eat before bed. Without eating something, I can not fall asleep. Then, perhaps because I eat oranges, bananas, yogurt, nuts, sugar free ice pops or a baked potato (one or two of these each night, not all in the same evening) I wake up every two to two and a half hours throughout the night.
    I too may be eating something that is disturbing my blood sugar and waking me up. I do not have diabetes, but I have TERRIBLE insomnia. I can be in bed for an hour or two before falling asleep. If I eat something I can drift off to sleep. Then the waking happens. The longest stretch of sleep I ever get is 4 to occasionally 5 hours (that I consider a miracle).
    Any suggestions are welcome and I am happy to follow this topic.

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