A new study has found a link between fruit intake and diabetes, but not how you might expect.  Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist, Katie Schaeffer, gives us the whole truth on whole fruits!

Diabetes & Fruit

A new study has found a link between fruit intake and diabetes, but not how you might expect. The study found people who consumed at least 2 servings of whole fruit daily were 36% LESS likely to develop diabetes over 5 years.

 

This may be surprising for people. Afterall, you’ve probably been told to reduce your carb intake if you want to avoid diabetes. So what’s going on?  


We’ve known for a long time that a diet high in whole, plant based foods is key to maintaining health long term. These healthy foods are also higher in carbohydrate. Even though fruit contains natural sugar, they are also high in fiber, water, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that help your body function properly. Reducing carbs alone will not reduce your risk of developing diabetes, and in fact a diet low in fiber and nutrients may actually increase your risk! Including whole fruits and veggies, even though they are higher in carbs than animal based foods, is actually a healthier way to eat than avoiding them because of their carb content. 


It’s important to note that the study did not find the same benefits from fruit juice- so make an effort to increase your intake of whole foods, not processed or juiced forms. Instead of choosing crackers or bread for your snacks, try some fresh fruit. In general, a serving of fruit is between ½ a cup and a whole cup- but you can estimate using your fist. Look for a serving of fruit that’s about the size of your fist or a little smaller.   

 

- Katie Schaeffer, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES

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