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Eating Whole Fruit May Lower Risk of Diabetes

A recent Harvard study suggests that eating at least two servings of whole fruit a week may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 23%. Conversely, drinking one or more fruit juices daily may increase the risk of diabetes by as much as 21%.

This large-scale study included data from more than 180,000 people who participated in three major studies. 12,198 of the participants developed diabetes over the life of the studies. Fruit consumption was assessed using food frequency questionnaires.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that eating two servings of blueberries, grapes or apples was associated with a 23% lower risk of developing type-2 diabetes, compared to those who ate less than one serving per month.

The researchers also found that replacing three servings per week of fruit juice with a variety whole fruits resulted in a 7% lower risk of developing diabetes. The risk was even lower when individual whole fruits were looked at: 33% lower for blueberries, 19% lower for grapes and 14% lower for apples and pears.

This study was published on August 28, 2013, in BMJ.

Fruits are packed with a myriad of powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants have been linked with healthier looking skin, heart health benefits and healthier levels of cholesterol. This is often attributed to the ability of antioxidants to fight free radicals in the body.

Adding more fruits to your diet can be as simple as grabbing an apple as a snack or adding some to your breakfast cereal.

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