Two Servings of Fruit per Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay
A new study finds people who consume two servings of fruit per day have 36 percent lower odds of developing type 2 diabetes than those who consume less than half a serving. The research was published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Diabetes is a disease where people have too much sugar in their bloodstream, and it is a huge public health burden. Approximately 463 million adults worldwide were living with diabetes in 2019, and by 2045 this number is expected to rise to 700 million. An estimated 374 million people are at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease. A healthy diet and lifestyle can play a major role in lowering a person's diabetes risk.
"We found people who consumed around 2 servings of fruit per day had a 36 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next five years than those who consumed less than half a serving of fruit per day," said study author Nicola Bondonno, Ph.D., of Edith Cowan University's Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, Australia. "We did not see the same patterns for fruit juice. These findings indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle which includes the consumption of whole fruits is a great strategy to lower your diabetes risk."
The researchers studied data from 7,675 participants from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute's Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study who provided information on their fruit and fruit juice intake through a food frequency questionnaire. They found participants who ate more whole fruits had 36 percent lower odds of having diabetes at five years. The researchers found an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity, meaning that people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels.
"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," Bondonno said.
Reference: Bondonno NP, Davey RJ, Murray K, et al. Associations between fruit intake and risk of diabetes in the AusDiab cohort. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2021;(dgab335). doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab335
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Author: Ferghal Armstrong
Ferghal is a general practitioner, Adiction Medicine specialist and fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine