As you may already know, fruit is an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. A recent study, however, shows that just the right amount of your favorite natural treats may go a long way in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Coming from Edith Cowan University, the study analyzed more than 7,600 Australians, looking at the impact of both fresh fruit and fruit juice consumption on diabetes risk over five years. The authors found that people eating at least two daily servings of fruit per day cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 36 percent.
“We found an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity, suggesting that people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels,” said study author Dr. Nicola Bondonno. “This is important because high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.”
What’s particularly critical to note is that the researchers found substituting more juice for eating fruit doesn’t carry the same health benefits. “Higher insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of diabetes were only observed for people who consumed whole fruit, not fruit juice,” Bondonno reports. “This is likely because juice tends to be much higher in sugar and lower in fiber.”
Original study: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism — Associations Between Fruit Intake and Risk of Diabetes
Additional resources: National Institutes of Health — Fruit and Vegetable Intake