Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found out through their study that eating fruits especially blueberries, grapes and apples lowers one person’s risk of acquiring diabetes while ironically, drinking fruit juices increase the risk.
Recently published in the British Medical Journal, the study claims to be the pioneer research to check the effect of individual whole fruits to those who can possible acquire type 2 diabetes. Qi Sun, the study’s senior author, acknowledges that eating fruits among other types of food has always been a recommended measure to those at risk with type 2 diabetes. The assistant professor in Harvard School’s Department of Nutrition also pointed out that while people generally believe that fruits are good, there were actual studies with mixed results.
The study, he says, aims to provide quantifiable and verifiable evidence that certain fruits can lessen one’s risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the type of diabetes that usually presents itself later in life and is often a result of unhealthy diet. In type 2 diabetes, the body fails to produce the necessary insulin to break down sugar or the insulin that is generated is not recognized by the body. Unregulated glucose levels can lead to eye, kidney, and heart issues that can cause death.
According to figures prepared by the American Diabetes Association, there are 25.8 million people in the United States experiencing diabetes- any of the three types by which it can manifest. Most of these people though experience type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, close to 80 million Americans had pre-diabetes. Many of these people don’t know they were at risk.
In this study, researchers from US, UK and Singapore looked at the data gathered from 187,000 participants in longterm studies to find out which fruits can be related to diabetes. The participants include nurses and other health professionals who were surveyed with regards to their diet, health and fitness level for 25 years. Of these people, 12,000 were reported to actually acquire diabetes.
From their data, they conclude that people who eat at least two servings of fruits like blueberries, grapes, and apples each week are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes by 23 percent. This is in comparison with those who ate less than a serving of these fruits in a month.
On the other hand, they found out that people who drink more than one servings of fruit juice each day are more likely have diabetes by as much as 21%. Another lead author, Isao Muraki, also from the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, hence concluded that increasing consumption of whole fruits but not fruit juice can be an effective to prevent type 2 diabetes. The researchers hope the study would aid in refining suggested measures to prevent diabetes.
The increased risk of diabetes in relation to drinking fruit juice can be explained by the high glycemic index juices contain. Glycemic index is the term to denote how fast carbohydrates boost blood sugar levels.
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