The health benefits of eating fresh fruit are well known and wide ranging, but now experts have found a new health boost – it can cut the risk of diabetes. In fact tucking into a daily dose of apples, strawberries and bananas can slash the likeliness of developing the blood sugar condition by 12 per cent.
MORE: Get healthy eating inspiration here
The news will be surprising to most because fruit is known to have a high, albeit natural, sugar content, and a diet with too much sugar can up the chance of type 2 diabetes. In the new research, conducted by Oxford University, 500,000 people in China were monitored for seven years. It was found that those who were diabetes-free at the start of the study and ate fruit every day had a 12 per cent lowered risk of developing the condition. "These findings suggest that a higher intake of fresh fruit is potentially beneficial for primary and secondary prevention of diabetes," said the authors, led by Dr Huaidong Du.
Eating fruit everyday could help reduce your risk of developing diabetes
STORY: 10 ways to sneak more fruit into your diet
It was found that fibre-rich fruit do not raise blood sugar because the glucose and fructose found in the food source are metabolised by the body in a different way to refined sugars. In the U.K. alone, around 90 per cent of all adults with diabetes have type 2, where the pancreas doesn't produce enough insulin or the body's cells don't react to insulin. A poor diet is one of the main contributing factors to the illness, with the Obesity Society finding that almost 90 per cent of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or have obesity. Guidelines from Britain's National Health Service (NHS) advise that eating a healthy and balanced diet, losing weight if overweight, quitting smoking, exercise and lowering alcohol consumption are all ways to cut the risk.
See the latest health and fitness news here.