August 31, 2013
Eat Whole Fruits To Lower Diabetes Risk, Not Fruit Juices

Whole fruits are good.

Boston, MA Eating more whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, was significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers. Greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. The study is the first to look at the effects of individual fruits on diabetes risk.

One thing to keep in mind about the benefits of specific fruits and not others: only heavily consumed fruits will provide big enough signals to detect an effect. For example, is unlikely that in the United States or Europe guava gets consumed enough to provide good dietary survey data. Ditto kiwi, bilberry, boysenberry, pomegranate, or persimmon among many others.

I am not surprised to see blueberries as standouts because they've got high concentrations of proanthocyanidins. Pass on fruit juice.

People who ate at least two servings each week of certain whole fruits particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes by as much as 23% in comparison to those who ate less than one serving per month. Conversely, those who consumed one or more servings of fruit juice each day increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21%. The researchers found that swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits would result in a 7% reduction in diabetes risk.

The fruits' glycemic index (a measure of how rapidly carbohydrates in a food boost blood sugar) did not prove to be a significant factor in determining a fruit's association with type 2 diabetes risk. However, the high glycemic index of fruit juice which passes through the digestive system more rapidly than fiber-rich fruit may explain the positive link between juice consumption and increased diabetes risk.

Blueberries or grapes, take your pick.

Total whole fruit consumption correlated positively with age, physical activity, multivitamin use, total energy intake and fruit juice consumption. Three servings per week of blueberries; grapes and raisins; apples and pears significantly reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In contrast, greater consumption of fruit juice was associated with increased type 2 diabetes risk. Substitution of whole fruits for fruit juice was associated with a lower risk, except strawberries and cantaloupe melon.

I am surprised by apples and pears looking good compared to so many other fruits.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2013 August 31 10:47 PM 

Cyril R. said at September 1, 2013 7:32 AM:

Apples and oranges?

Michael L said at September 3, 2013 10:55 AM:

how are these "researchers" supposed to control for health obsession attitude of the people involved, even if they were intelligent enough to realize the need for this? Without controlling for it, are they not just saying that health freak types are slightly healthier than normal people?

shiva1008 said at September 12, 2013 9:10 AM:

This is why it's better to mix vegetable juice with fruit juice - lower glycemic index. Or if you eat something that's really sugary, you eat some protein or fat with it to slow its release into the bloodstream and mitigate any blood sugar spikes.

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