A new study out of Oxford University suggests that fruit can help diabetans maintain their blood sugar levels.
Researchers examined the consumption of fruit for diabetic patients at a hospital with a diet of mostly refined carbohydrates, including white bread, cereals, sugar-sweetened beverages, and low-fat milk products.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found that a variety of fruits and vegetables, including apples, tomatoes, grapes, watermelon, blackberries, applesauce, and oranges, were associated with a higher glycemic index, which is an index of blood sugar.
“These results provide a rationale for increasing the consumption and eating of fruit and vegetables for diabetes patients,” Dr. Michael C. Blumberg, lead author of the study, told New York magazine.
“If a diet is high in sugar and low in fruits and veggies, the risk of developing diabetes is significantly increased.”
“The fact that fruits and vegetable consumption may help maintain blood sugar is a real boon,” said Dr. Thomas H. Blunt, a professor of nutrition at the University of California, San Francisco.
“The combination of a low glycemic load diet and low fat and high fiber intake is ideal for diasporic people with diabetes.”
The researchers examined blood sugar from 5,936 patients at three hospitals in Oxford, England, and found that those who consumed fruit at least once a week had a lower risk of diabetes compared to those who ate less than once a day.
The authors said they hoped to understand how the fruits might protect against the development of the disease.
“Our results suggest that the health benefits of fruit consumption are multifaceted,” Blumburg said.
“In some cases, these fruits may help to reduce the risk for developing diabetes, while in others, they may provide protection from the disease.”
The study also found that the consumption level of the fruit was associated with decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, although there were no significant differences in the other outcomes.
The researchers said they are not sure why fruit may lower blood sugar, but they believe it may be due to the fact that it contains many of the same nutrients that help lower blood pressure and triglycerides.
The report said that they also found fruit consumption may lower the risk associated with obesity.
The researchers also noted that fruit consumption has been linked to a lower rate of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which could be related to the low glycemia associated with the fruit.