Eat Fruit to Reduce Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

It is no secret that consistent consumption of fruits comes with many health benefits, including slowing down of the aging process, and keeping the body in healthy shape. But if you think maintenance of good health and delaying of the aging process are the only health benefits associated with regular intake of fruits, then you need to think again: a 2013 study has shown that high dietary ingestion of fruits significantly cut down the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Fruit Consumption Associated with Low Type 2 Diabetes Risk

In this study, researchers from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health examined data on the fruit consumption rates and type 2 diabetes odds ratios of 184,732 US men and women with no previous history of any chronic disease recruited from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses’ Health Study cohorts. The research team observed that frequent consumers of large servings of fruits, such as orange, banana, apple, grape, apricot, blueberry, strawberry, peach, pear, and plum, had lower chances of developing type 2 diabetes than rare- and non-consumers of fruits. The team of researchers, therefore, concluded that type 2 diabetes is less likely to occur in individuals eating high whole fruit diets.

The mechanism by which fruits inhibit type 2 diabetes development is not yet clearly defined. However, the authors of this research work believed the phytochemical component of fruits are responsible for its anti-diabetic effect. They believed that some of the phytochemicals found in fruits may activate specific enzyme systems that enhance glucose uptake in the muscle, reduce glucose production in the liver, and improve insulin sensitivity.

The News About Fruit Juice Was Not so Good

Processed fruit juices were found to have the opposite effect on type 2 diabetes risk. Generous intake of processed fruit juices was found to increase type 2 diabetes development risk in this study.

Fresh Fruit Each Day Keeps Diabetes at Bay

Fruits are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals needed to maintain good health and protect us from chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. In the words of Professor Qui Sun of the Brigham Women’s Hospital in the United States,

Fruits are recommended as a measure for diabetes prevention.

If you want to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, you should consider choosing whole food plant based diets rich in unprocessed fruits. In order to enjoy the protective effect of fruits on type 2 diabetes, you should consume at least a serving of fresh or frozen fruits every day.

Additional Information:

(1) Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes

(2) Is the Fructose in Fruit Bad for Us?

(3) Crunching the Science on Juicing

(4) What About All the Sugar in Fruit?