Consuming certain fruits can help protect against type 2 diabetes, according to a large cohort study published in the British Medical Journal.
The study focused on individual fruit consumption among more than 187,000 people who at the start of the study did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. The participants were given food frequency questionnaires every four years to analyze diet.
The surveys specifically asked how often the people ate 10 different fruits including grapes or raisins; peaches, plums or apricots; prunes; bananas; cantaloupe; apples or pears; oranges; grapefruit; strawberries; and blueberries. They were also questioned about their intake of specific fruit juices.
During the study, 6.5 percent of participants developed type 2 diabetes. But surprisingly, people who ate at least three servings a week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears had a 7 percent lower risk of developing the disease. Fruit juice consumption did not offer the same results and, in fact, the risk of diabetes increased with the amount of fruit juice consumed.
Researchers said the study supports current recommendations that people should eat more whole fruits to help prevent type 2 diabetes. Preventing the chronic disease should be motivation enough for maintaining a healthy diet and establishing an exercise program. However, many people ignore these suggestions and go on to develop type 2 diabetes, assuming they can control the condition with medications.
But type 2 diabetes medications have been associated with serious adverse effects, including cancer.
For example, in 2011, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the type 2 diabetes drug Actos had been associated with bladder cancer. More recently, studies have linked the drugs Januvia and Byetta with acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
Source: Medical News Today