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Which Fruits Are Associated with Type 2 Diabetes?

Specific whole fruits show lower risk of type 2 diabetes….

Fruit consumption has benefits such as antioxidants and fiber that can help prevent many chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes. But there have been mixed results from studies on the association of fruit consumption with the risk of type 2 diabetes.

In the three cohort studies that were reviewed, 12,198 out of 3,464,641 patients developed type 2 diabetes. There was a positive correlation between the total whole fruit consumption and age, physical activity, multivitamin use, total energy intake, and fruit juice consumption. An inverse association between the risk of type 2 diabetes and consumption of individual fruit was observed in the age-adjusted model.

When examining the association between fruit consumption and the risk of type 2 diabetes by looking at glycemic index/glycemic load values of fruits, a lower risk of type 2 diabetes was observed when there was greater consumption of high glycemic load fruits. There was no association in moderate and low glycemic load fruits. However, there was an inverse association between moderate glycemic index fruits and risk of type 2 diabetes.

There are some limitations in this study: measurement errors in the estimate of fruit consumption, adjustment of energy intake, intakes of combined individual fruits could alter the results. Lastly, the study populations were mainly of European ancestry so this study should not be generalized to everyone.

The authors concluded that there is an association between consumption of specific whole fruits with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. But there is a higher risk of type 2 diabetes with greater fruit juice consumption.

Practice Pearls:

  • High consumption of fruit juice associated with higher risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Blueberries, grapes, and apples associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in glucose levels

British Medical Journal 2013