These 5 Superfoods Cut Your Diabetes Risk By 25 Percent

By on September 3, 2013
For years doctors have said eating a balanced diet could reduce the risk of diabetes–but now a study published in the British Medical Journal says that five special superfoods may cut your risk by more than 25 percent.

The study, which included researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, says that getting your daily fill of blueberries, grapes, prunes, apples, and pears could protect you from a type 2 diabetes diagnosis–but it also matters how you consume these fruits.

“Greater consumption of specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes and apples, is significantly associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes, whereas greater consumption of fruit juice is associated with a higher risk,” says researchers. “Fluids pass through the stomach to the intestine more rapidly than solids even if nutritional content is similar.  For example, fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in serum [blood] levels of glucose and insulin than whole fruits.”

During the study, the effects of juice versus whole fruit consumption were measurable–researchers say opting for fruit juice actually increased a person’s diabetes risk by at least 8 percent.  However, opting for blueberries resulted in a 26 percent risk reduction, whereas fruits such as grapes or raisins helped decrease a person’s risk by 12 percent.

Other fruits, such as bananas, peaches, and apricots were not observed to have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. This new evidence comes on the heels of a juicing trend rising rapidly in America–a trend that advocates drinking pure fruit and vegetable juices as a helpful way to “detox” and “get slim.”  While the jury is out on its detoxification abilities, evidence now shows it’s not always the healthy approach to your diet.

What the Study Discovered

Polling nearly 188,000 people from three different studies, researchers studied how a type 2 diabetes diagnosis was affected by certain lifestyle factors, such as eating habits, weight, physical activity, and addiction to nicotine.  Nearly 6.5 percent of people developed diabetes during the studies.

Evaluating their consumption of fruit, researchers then discovered something odd–by eating certain fruits, their risk of type 2 diabetes decreased by as much as 26 percent.

They eventually narrowed down the lowered risk to several specific fruits–including blueberries, grapes, and apples.

“It is interesting that ‘protection’ against Type 2 diabetes is associated with whole fruit consumption but such protection is lost with fruit juices,” says professor Anthony Barnett, a professor of medicine at Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. “It is important to recognise [sic] that fruit juices generally have a high glycaemic [sic] index, which means that fruit sugars are presented rapidly and in high quantity to the body.  While whole fruits and vegetables appear to be very good for us, fruit juices may not provide similar benefits and might even increase health risks.”

Case in point?  While juicing may make it easier to digest certain fruits, it’s not a foolproof way to achieve better health.

Readers: Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables, or do you prefer to juice? Why?

Eating Fruit Deters
New Diet to Beat Diabetes: Fresh Fruit? –

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