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Fruit and Diabetes Type 2: Does Eating Fruits Help Prevent Diabetes?

Fruit and Diabetes Type 2: Does Eating Fruits Help Prevent Diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the cells do not react as usual to insulin. Insulin regulates blood sugar levels. Interrelated with this problem is when the pancreas stops producing enough insulin for the body, resulting in the circulation of too much sugar in the bloodstream. There is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but there are treatments available. On the other hand, people with no type 2 diabetes can lower the risk of developing it. One way is by eating fruits. Let us learn the relation between fruit and diabetes type 2 risk of development.

Eating Fruit and Diabetes Type 2

Many diabetic people mistakenly assume that fruits have a high sugar content that may endanger their sugar level. Following this, researchers studied the relationship between consuming fruits and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

British and Chinese researchers conducted a seven-year study among 500,000 adult participants across China, with an average age of 51. 20% of the participants ate fresh fruits daily, and 6% rarely or never ate fruits at all. Meanwhile, participants with diabetes who never consumed fruits numbered three times more than those who did not have diabetes.

The study found that:

  • Participants without diabetes who ate fruits regularly had a 12% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not eat fruits regularly.
  • Diabetic people who ate fruits regularly had a 17% lower risk of death and were 13% less likely to develop complications that involve kidney and heart disease.

Apples, bananas, and oranges

Another study related to fruit and diabetes type 2 is from the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. They found that:

  • Among 7,765 participants, people who had two servings of fruit a day had a 36% decreased chance of having type 2 diabetes within the span of five years.
  • Apples, bananas, and oranges are better at controlling blood sugar. These fruits are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that prevent the development of diabetes.

Fresh fruit, not fruit juice

In 2013, the Harvard School of Public Health also conducted a study about this matter. They examined data from 187,382 participants, excluding those with a history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. After the study, they concluded that:

  • People who consumed two servings of whole fruits like blueberries, grapes, and apples each week had a 23% lesser risk than those who consumed less than one serving every month.
  • Those who drank fruit juice increased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 21%. However, if fruit juice and whole fruit were consumed alternatively per week, it resulted in a 7% decrease in type 2 diabetes risk.
  • Aside from reducing the risk, berries and grapes are also beneficial in decreasing heart attack risk.
  • The study recommended whole fruit consumption rather than taking fruit juices to prevent diabetes.

All studies had the same conclusion, which is that eating fruits decreases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, whether it be consumed daily or once every week.

Whole fruit is healthier than fruit juice

Whole fruit is said to be healthier than fruit juice. Here are the reasons why whole fruit and diabetes type 2 prevention goes well with each other:

  • The pulp and skin of whole fruit are rich in dietary fiber, which promotes regular bowel movement. Its natural sugar binding with the dietary fiber helps the body absorb the sugar for a longer duration.
  • The pulp and skin of the whole fruit contain more vitamins and other nutrients than the juice extracted from it. Most nutrients will be left behind.
  • Fruit juice tends to cause poor regulation of blood sugar and also increases calorie intake. Those who are sensitive to changes in blood sugar level may also have severe headaches, fatigue, and irritability.

Key takeaway

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that may cause different complications if not regularly monitored and treated. Researchers have found that fresh fruit and diabetes type 2 prevention are related.

To those people who are at risk of developing this condition, fruits help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, whole fruits are much more recommended compared to juice extract, as they contain more nutrients. Thus, consume more healthy fruits to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Learn more about Type 2 Diabetes here.

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Type 2 Diabetes, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193 Date Accessed June 15, 2021

A Good Reason to Eat More Fruit, https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2017/fruit-may-lower-risk-of-diabetes-fd.html Date Accessed June 15, 2021

Daily Fruit Consumption Decreases Risk of Type 2 Diabetes, https://www.pcrm.org/news/health-nutrition/daily-fruit-consumption-decreases-risk-type-2-diabetes Date Accessed June 15, 2021

Eating whole fruits linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/eating-whole-fruits-linked-to-lower-risk-of-type-2-diabetes/ Date Accessed June 15, 2021

Is fruit juice healthier than whole fruit?, https://wtamu.edu/~cbaird/sq/2013/12/02/is-fruit-juice-healthier-than-whole-fruit Date Accessed June 15, 2021

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Written by Shienna Santelices Updated Jul 08, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel