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Welcome. This blog site, healthy eating and food safety, has been discontinued as of June 23, 2017. I look forward to your comments and feedback regarding use of this tool to disseminate educational information.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Eating Certain Types of Fruits Appears to Help Reduce Diabetes Risk

Eating Certain Types of Fruits Appears to Help Reduce Diabetes Risk

A group of Harvard researchers tracked the dietary patterns and other health indicators of approximately 200,000 healthy men and women (health professionals) for more than two decades. One of their objectives was to find out whether certain phytochemicals (nutrient-like substances from plants) were related to the participants’ risk of diabetes over time.
When the researchers compared data for over 12,000 participants who developed diabetes with those who remained diabetes-free during a period of 24 years, they found that apparent diabetes protection was strongest for fruits that are high in one type of phytochemical called anthocyanins (blueberries, apples and pears). Specifically, people who had two or more ½ cup servings per week were less likely to have developed diabetes during the course of the study as people who had less than on ½ cup serving per month. Similarly, people who ate five or more apples and/or pears a week had a lower risk of developing diabetes when compared with those who ate very few apples or pears. These results were found after adjusting the statistics for other known diabetes risk factors (BMI, smoking, family history).

Although this study provided strong evidence that blueberries, apples and pears help protect people from developing diabetes, it was an epidemiological study that relied on dietary data from a series of self-reported food frequency questionnaires. Thus, it could not prove that these specific fruits or the dietary substances they contain were uniquely responsible for the observed differences in diabetes rates.

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