Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Fruits Helping Diabetics?
Hooray! I was delighted to see a new study about the role of dietary fruit in diabetic patients, entitled
Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies, published this week in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Over the years, I have found that many of my diabetic patients purposefully avoid all fruits, fearing that the sugar in fruits will raise their blood sugar values and worsen their diabetes. However, fruits are a wonderfully nutritious part of a healthy diet, and I will forever attest that eating too many fruits or vegetables is NOT the major contributing factor to becoming diabetic or overweight.
This particular study reviewed diets (based on scheduled food questionnaires), and found that for every three servings per week of whole foods consumption of blueberries, prunes, grapes and raisins, apples and pears, bananas, grapefruit, and even peaches and apricots, the risk for developing diabetes was significantly REDUCED!
Fruits are packed with wonderful nutrients, phytochemicals, vitamins and fiber, all of which have long been known to help prevent untoward health consequences such as heart disease and cancer. Hopefully this new study will help convince everyone that FRUIT belongs in the pre-diabetic and diabetic diet as well. The key to improving diabetes in overweight or obese people is weight loss: consuming fewer calories than you burn. Colorful diets packed with fruits and vegetables are the best way to get you moving that direction.
Of note, drinking fruit juices was actually associated with a slight increased risk of developing diabetes. Once again, we see that eating the WHOLE FRUIT is better than making it into a juice or condensing it into a pill...
BOTTOM LINE: Up your intake of whole fruits, especially blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples, prunes and pears, and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.