Whole Fruits Can Reduce The Onset of Diabetes

Recently published in the British Medical Journal was an analysis of three studies which involved researchers from the UK, Singapore, and the US. According to the results of the study, whole fruits, particularly grapes, blueberries, and apples can actually reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is the form of diabetes wherein the body produces too little insulin. On the other hand, type 1 is where the body doesn’t produce any insulin at all.

Apples To Reduce Risk Of Diabetes

The study demonstrated that consuming two whole apples a week could lessen the onset of type 2 diabetes by up to 23%. The head researcher of the study named Professor Qi Sun has said that they looked at data which had been collected over a 24-year period (1984 to 2008) from 187,382 subjects. None of the subjects were diabetic, had cancer or heart conditions at the beginning of the study.

Fruit Consumption Of The Subjects Was Analyzed

A total of 12,121 people had become diabetic during the time of the study. Each person’s fruit consumption was analyzed by the researchers. They looked at how much fruit was consumed, what type of fruit, and when it was consumed – juiced, cooked, or whole. Food questionnaires were given to the subjects every four years. Certain fruits for analysis were isolated – cantaloupe melon, apples, prunes, strawberries, plums, bananas, pears, oranges, peaches, apricots, raisins, grapes, and blueberries.

Risk Is Increased By Fruit Juice Consumption

It was revealed that people who drank one or more fruit juices a day, could increase their chances of becoming diabetic by up to 21%. Yet, there was a 7% drop in the chances of becoming diabetic if three of these fruit juices were exchanged for whole fruits.

Fruit juice, being a liquid, quickly passes through the digestive system and is high on the glycemic index. Whole fruits are high in fiber and require much time to pass through the digestive system. This is probably why high consumption of fruit juice increases the risk of becoming diabetic, according to the researchers.

Isao Muraki, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, said:

“Our data further endorse current recommendations on increasing whole fruits, but not fruit juice, as a measure for diabetes prevention.”

Individual Fruits’ Beneficial Effects

It was believed by the researchers that there were certain fruits that can stave off the onset of type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanin, which is found in grapes and berries, are thought to help with preventing heart attacks.

It was concluded that blueberries lessen the risk of having diabetes by 26%.

Whole apples contain a soluble fiber called pectin and this means that sugars are gradually released into the bloodstream, thereby helping in regulating blood sugar levels. In order to increase the fiber content, apples should be eaten unpeeled. Also found in apples are phytonutrients and quercetin which have been found to fight, hinder, or even block, fructose toxicity.

One apple contains 8 g of vitamin C; and 4 g of soluble fiber which is equivalent to 17% of our daily needs for a healthy colon and maintaining blood sugar levels. Similarly, apples are also high in flavonoids and antioxidants.

Balanced Lifestyle

As suggested by the study, a person should consume whole fruits as part of a balanced diet as well as to prevent type 2 diabetes. Along with healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables, a regular exercise is also beneficial in the prevention of many diseases.