Two servings of fruit a day linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

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  • Two servings of fruit a day can reduce one's chances of developing diabetes
  • The study observed the fruit intake of almost 8 000 people 
  • The results show that fruit juice did, however, not lower diabetes risk

People who eat at least two servings of fruit per day have a smaller chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

The study published in Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism assessed the link between the intake of fruit and insulin resistance.

Assessing the impact of fruit on diabetes risk

The study looked at data from 7 675 Australians who filled in a food frequency questionnaire at the beginning of the study. The survey assessed fruit and fruit juice intake and the prevalence of diabetes after five years.

Of the almost 8 000 participants at enrollment, 4 674 were available at the time of the five years follow-up, and 3 518 after 12 years.

The researchers asked participants to indicate the frequency of their intake of certain food items over the previous 12 months, using a list of 74 foods, with ten frequency response options ranging from "never" to "three or more times per day".

Fresh fruit is key

The research's findings show that eating fruit is linked with a 36% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes after five years. The results also show that higher total fruit intake saw better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.

The study found that fresh fruit is a better option than fruit juice. The researchers found no link between lower insulin resistance and diabetes risk with people who consumed fruit juice more than fresh fruit. T

he study also found that people who ate apples, bananas, and oranges and other citrus fruits were less likely to have diabetes at the five-year mark.

"Higher insulin sensitivity and a lower risk of diabetes were only observed for people who consumed whole fruit, not fruit juice. This is likely because juice tends to be much higher in sugar and lower in fibre," says study author Dr Nicola Bondonno in a press statement.

"As well as being high in vitamins and minerals, fruits are a great source of phytochemicals, which may increase insulin sensitivity and fibre which helps regulate the release of sugar into the blood and also helps people feel fuller for longer.

"Furthermore, most fruits typically have a low glycaemic index, which means the fruit's sugar is digested and absorbed into the body more slowly," she says.

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