Here's some sweet news for anyone at risk of developing diabetes: New research shows a diet rich in whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — can help reduce the risk of developing the life-threatening metabolic disorder.
The findings, published in the British Medical Journal by an international team of scientists, are based on a review of the medical records of 187,382 men and women enrolled in three long-running health researcher projects involving nurses and health professionals.
Researchers from the U.S., U.K., and Singapore examined the association of individual fruit consumption in relation to Type 2 diabetes risk among the participants, none of whom had diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the start of the studies.
The result showed those who ate more whole fruits were far less likely to developing diabetes than those who did not, but that men and women who consumed high levels of fruit juice faced increased risks.
Ten individual fruits were used in the study: grapes or raisins; peaches, plums or apricots; prunes; bananas; cantaloupe; apples or pears; oranges; grapefruit; strawberries; blueberries. Fruit juice included apple; orange; grapefruit and other fruit juices.
The researchers found three servings per week of blueberries; grapes and raisins; apples and pears significantly reduced the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They also noted replacing three servings per week of fruit juice with individual whole fruits reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by an additional 7 percent.
The researchers concluded that greater consumption of specific whole fruits "particularly blueberries, grapes and apples was significantly associated with lower Type 2 diabetes risk whereas greater fruit juice consumption was associated with a higher risk."
They added that the results support recommendations to increase the consumption of a variety of whole fruits as a strategy for diabetes prevention.
Information for the study was obtained from three major research projects: the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS 1984-2008), the Nurses’ Health Study II (NHS II 1991-2009), and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS 1986-2008).
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