For diabetes and diet, eating whole fruit may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, while drinking fruit juice may raise the risk. And whole fruit curbs appetite better than juice.
Researchers tracked roughly 150,000 female nurses and 36,000 male health professionals for 20 to 32 years. The risk of diabetes for those who said they drank fruit juice at least once a day was 21 percent higher than for those who drank juice less than once a week. In contrast, the risk for those who reported eating blueberries at least twice a week was 23 percent lower than for those who ate blueberries less than once a week. The risk was roughly 18 percent lower for those who ate grapes and raisins, apples and pears, or bananas two to four times a week.
Neither the glycemic index (a measure of how high foods boost blood sugar) nor any particular flavonoid (potentially beneficial plant compounds) explained the links to diabetes risk.
In a second study, researchers fed 15 lean and 19 overweight or obese adults 400 calories’ worth of apples and grapes in one of two forms: either 1¾ cups of apple juice and 1¹∕3 cups of grape juice or 1 Gala apple, 4∕5 cup of red grapes, ¼ cup of raisins, and ½ cup of dried apple. At a subsequent lunch, the participants, especially those who were overweight or obese, ate more calories after consuming the juice than after eating the whole fruit.
What to do: Shoot for five servings of fruit (each serving is 1 piece or ½ cup), not juice, every day. It’s too early to say which fruits may prevent diabetes, so eat whatever kind you like.
BMJ 2013. doi:10.1136/bmj.f5001. Int. J. Obesity 37: 1109, 2013.
Other relevant links:
- Can you really get the nutrients of vegetables from processed snack foods? See: How to Diet: Decode These Fruit and Veggie Claims on Processed Foods
- We need programs that promote consumption of fruits and vegetables. See: If We’re Serious about Eating More Fruits and Vegetables
- The magnesium in leafy greens may reduce your risk. See: Diabetes and Diet: Greens May Prevent Diabetes