Eating two portions of fruit a day reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 36 per cent, researchers have said.
However, the Australian research team said they did not see the same pattern emerge those who drank two servings of fruit juice on a daily basis.
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Study author Dr Nicola Bondonno, from the Edith Cowan University’s Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, said: “We found people who consumed around two servings of fruit per day had a 36 per cent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next five years than those who consumed less than half a serving of fruit per day.
“We did not see the same patterns for fruit juice. These findings indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle which includes the consumption of whole fruits is a great strategy to lower your diabetes risk.”
The trial involved studying data from more than 7,600 people who had already signed up to take part in the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute’s Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study.
The volunteers provided information on their consumption of fruit and fruit beverages via a questionnaire.
They found the people who said they ate more whole fruits had a 36 per cent reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes five years later, when compared to those who do not.
The researchers think this is because there is a link between fruit intake and insulin sensitivity. Therefore, that means that those who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to reduce their blood glucose levels.
Dr Bondonno said: “This is important because high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease,” Bondonno said.
The study has been published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.