That fruit is good for health is no secret, but what kind? A recent study links whole fruit, especially blackberries, grapes and apples, with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, but suggests that fruit juices may actually increase risk.
However, the study design of the School of Public Health of the University of Harvard it does not allow to prove that the whole fruit or that the fruit juices directly affect the risk of type 2 diabetes.
"Although fruit is recommended as a measure for the prevention of diabetes, previous studies have shown mixed results on total fruit consumption," he said. Qi Sun, lead author and assistant professor in the nutrition department of the School of Public Health at Harvard University.
"Our findings provide new evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be particularly beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes."
The researchers based their findings on an analysis of almost 190,000 people who participated in three studies between 1984 and 2008, and who did not have an initial diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer. About 7% of the participants were later diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
People who ate fruit, especially berries, grapes and apples, at least twice a week, were up to 23% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who ate those fruits no more than once a month. However, those who drank a portion or more of fruit juice a day had an increase in risk, up to 21% more than the others.
Perhaps another factor, apart from the consumption of fruit and fruit juice, could explain the differences. Maybe people who eat certain fruits have something in common that affects their risk of diabetes.
"Our data give additional support to current recommendations on increasing the consumption of whole fruit, but not fruit juice, as a measure for the prevention of diabetes," said lead author Isao Muraki, a research member of the nutrition department of the Harvard School of Public Health. "
"Our novel findings could help refine this recommendation to facilitate the prevention of diabetes."