Whole fruits protect against diabetes, but juice is risk factor, say researchers
Eating blueberries, grapes, apples and pears cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes but drinking fruit juice can increase it, a large study has found.
Researchers including a team from Harvard School of Public Health in the US examined whether certain fruits impact on type 2 diabetes, which affects more than 3 million Britons.
People who ate three standard servings a week of blueberries had a 26% lower chance of developing the disease, they found. Those eating grapes and raisins had a 12% reduced risk and apples and pears cut the chances by 7%. Prunes also had a protective effect, giving an 11% drop in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Other fruits such as bananas, plums, peaches and apricots had a negligible impact but drinking fruit juice increased the risk by 8%, according to the study.
People who replaced all fruit juice with eating whole fruits could expect a 7% drop in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
For individual fruits, replacing three servings a week of fruit juice with blueberries cut the risk by 33% while replacing juice with grapes and raisins cut the risk by 19%. The risk was also 14% lower if juice was replaced with apples and pears, 13% lower if replaced with bananas and 12% lower if replaced with grapefruit.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal, includes data on 187,382 people taken from three separate studies, of whom 12,198 developed type 2 diabetes.
Food questionnaires were used every four years to assess diet and asked how often, on average, people consumed each food in a standard portion size.
The relatively high glycaemic l Continue reading