Eating at least two servings of fruit a day reduces the risk of diabetes by 36%
The number of people with diabetes rose from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. The prevalence of the disease continues to rise rapidly in low- and middle-income countries. To date, around 451 million people have diabetes worldwide, with the number expected to exceed 693 million in 2045.
Type 2 diabetes causes more than 2 million deaths annually and is the seventh leading cause of disability worldwide. In view of the increasing number of cases, it is crucial to develop strategies to prevent type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
Researchers at Edith Cowan University showed that people who consumed at least two servings of fruit a day were more insulin sensitive than those who ate less than half a serving. The study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed that eating a healthy diet with whole fruits but no fruit juice can play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
What is Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus?
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is characterized by impaired insulin secretion and increased insulin resistance. As a result, blood sugar levels rise, leading to a wide variety of symptoms and complications.
This chronic condition occurs when the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin or the body cannot use the insulin it produces effectively. The hormone insulin plays an important role in controlling blood sugar levels.
In addition, T2DM is the most common type of diabetes. People develop this condition at any age, even in childhood. However, it is common in middle-aged and elderly people. People with a family history of overweight, obesity, or diabetes are at higher risk. It can also be caused by physical inactivity and other health conditions such as high blood pressure.
Previous studies have shown that a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help reduce the risk of T2DM. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend eating two servings of fruit, which is associated with a 32 percent reduced risk of T2DM in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study over a 12 year period.
Reducing the risk of diabetes
The current study examined the relationship between the types of fruit consumed and glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity.
The team looked at data from 7,675 Australians who participated in the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute’s AusDiab study to arrive at the study results. They measured the intake of fruit and fruit juice using the questionnaire on food frequency at the start of the study.
The team determined the relationships between fruit and fruit juice intake and fasting plasma glucose, plasma glucose two hours after exercise, insulin resistance and sensitivity, and fasting insulin levels, and the presence of diabetes after 5 and 12 years of UPS.
The study results showed that participants with moderate total fruit consumption had a 36 percent reduced risk of developing diabetes after five years.
“Eating a healthy diet with whole fruits but no fruit juice can play a role in reducing the risk of T2DM,” the team concluded in the study.
The team emphasized that the study supports the encouragement to eat whole fruits, but not fruit juices. This helps maintain insulin sensitivity, which reduces the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
“Promoting healthy diets and lifestyles that include consuming popular fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges with widespread geographic availability can lower the incidence of T2DM,” the team added.