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Rx Blog: Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

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Oct 8th, 2018

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Pick Fruit to Tackle Type 2 Diabetes

Pick Fruit to Tackle Type 2 Diabetes: Main Image
Blueberries reduced type 2 diabetes risk by 26% when consumed at least three times weekly
Despite the growing risk of type 2 diabetes worldwide, due to obesity and aging populations, smart choices such as regular physical activity and a healthy diet can keep the disease at bay for many. Now scientists have found that eating fruit, especially certain kinds of fruit, may be a factor in to who develops type 2 diabetes.

Devil is in the details

To look at potential connections between eating fruit and type 2 diabetes risk, researchers collected information on diet, physical activity, height, weight, cigarette smoking, and history of heart disease, diabetes, or cancer from 187,382 middle-aged men and women. Each participant was followed for between 18 and 24 years, and the study authors noted which people developed type 2 diabetes.

Compared with people eating less fruit, those who ate three or more weekly servings of apples and pears, bananas, blueberries, grapefruit, grapes and raisins, or total fruit were significantly less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Certain types of fruit seemed to reduce risk particularly well when consumed at least three times weekly, including

  • blueberries, which reduced risk by 26%,
  • grapes and raisins, which reduced risk by 12%,
  • apples and pears, which reduced risk by 7%, and
  • bananas and grapefruit, which each reduced risk by 5%.

Factoring in fruit to manage diabetes risk

While this study is observational, and therefore cannot prove cause and effect, it provides useful ideas about which fruit may be particularly beneficial for fending off type 2 diabetes, and it gives us a window into why previous studies, which only considered total fruit, have yielded conflicting results. While this study suggests that total fruit may reduce risk, it is possible that specific types of fruit have a more powerful effect than others.

Still, according to study author Qi Sun, epidemiologist and professor in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard’s School of Public Health, “We don’t want to leave the impression that there’s any magical fruit,” because this study only shows associations, not proof that certain fruits are the silver bullet for type 2 diabetes. To protect your health, a multifaceted approach is best:

  • Put family first. Type 2 diabetes runs in families, so if you have a family history of the disease, talk to your doctor about how to best manage your increased risk.
  • Fruit up. Nutritionists have long advised people to choose whole fruit over fruit juice, and this makes sense. Juice lacks the fiber of whole fruit, and fiber plays a role in keeping glucose levels stable and reducing caloric intake.
  • Move muscle. When you move your body, your muscles use insulin more efficiently. Even if you don’t lose a pound, you’re still improving your odds of avoiding type 2 diabetes. Try 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking, biking, or most any other aerobic activity daily to improve glucose control.
  • Vegetate. Vegetables may be even more beneficial than fruit, because they pack many of the same nutrients—and more—without even close to the amount of simple sugar found in fruit.
  • Berry on. Berries are chock full of nutrients known to have beneficial effects on health, so eat blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in season (picking fruit with kids is a fun outdoor activity) and opt for frozen when fresh is not available.

(BMJ 2013;347:f5001 doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5001)

Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.

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6 Responses to Rx Blog: Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Carolyn Odowick 23/10/2018 at 2:07 pm

    I’m interested in Albertsons Eating Healthy with
    Diabetes store tour. Your Submit your Info link takes me to Outlook 2007 installation on my computer. I’d like more information please.
    carolyn.odowick@yahoo.com

    • Customer Support 23/10/2018 at 8:05 pm

      Hello Carolyn, We are sorry that this link is not opening properly for you on this version of outlook. Please compose a new email addressed to our Eating Healthy with Diabetes Team
      Elaine.Magee@albertsons.com; Jamie.Gabiola@albertsons.com with the following information.Name:
      City:
      State:
      Email Address:
      Phone Number:
      They will share it with the local registered dietitian in your area so they can let you know more about the upcoming tours in your area.
      Name:
      City:
      State:
      Email Address:
      Phone Number:

      We hope this helps! Thank you- Patrick

  2. Michele 12/11/2018 at 10:23 am

    When do they do this?

    • Customer Support 12/11/2018 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Michele! Can you please let us know what you’re referring to? We’d love to help. Thanks! -Chris

  3. Erika Humphrey 15/11/2018 at 1:13 am

    is this link on the email going to expire like the other ones?? If so, is there a way for me to still have access to all the recipes and articles?

    • Customer Support 15/11/2018 at 10:09 am

      Hi Erika! You should be able to refer back to any of our blogs by visiting our website: https://www.albertsons.com/blog/ and selecting the appropriate category, which in this case would be Pharmacy. From there, you can scroll through our past blogs until you locate the one you are looking for. Or if it’s easier, you can use the search bar in the upper right-hand corner of our website. Thank you! -Jayme

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