Diabetics are often warned off of anything with sugar, including fresh fruit. But this is probably not such a good idea.
A recent study just came out of China that shows that people with diabetes who eat a diet with higher fresh fruit consumption actually have lower risks of death and development of major vascular complications.
In those individuals who already had diabetes prior to the start of the study, consuming fresh fruit more than three days a week was associated with a 17% lower relative risk of dying from any cause and a 13%–28% lower risk of developing diabetes-related complications affecting large blood vessels (e.g., ischaemic heart disease and stroke) and small blood vessels (i.e., kidney diseases, eye diseases, and neuropathy) than those who consumed fruit less than one day per week.
This is a really remarkable finding. And it gets even better. For those who don’t have diabetes and eat a large quantity of fresh fruit, there seems to be a protective effect.
Among individuals who were free of diabetes (either previously diagnosed or newly detected) at the start of the study, daily consumption of fresh fruit was associated with a 12% lower relative risk of developing diabetes, compared to never or rarely consuming fresh fruit.
12% lower risk is nothing to sneeze at. And this study was done with 500,000 people, so it’s pretty statistically significant.
So what is going on here? Fruit is full of sugar and sugar is supposed to be a real problem with diabetes. But this study shows very clearly that diabetes is both prevented and helped with fresh fruit.
Maybe Sugar is Not The REAL Cause of Diabetes
What I’m about to tell you is going to turn everything you think you know about diabetes on it’s head.
It turns out that an intolerance to sugar may be a symptom of diabetes, but it doesn’t seem to be the cause.
In fact, this is not the only study that shows that sugar and diabetes aren’t particularly related.
MEYER…FOUND SIGNIFICANT INVERSE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN SUGAR INTAKE AND TYPE 2 DIABETES IN THEIR STUDY.
Interesting, huh? It doesn’t seem that sugar actually causes diabetes, and that there may very well be a protective effect in eating fresh fruit (especially when it’s super ripe).
So If It’s Not Sugar, Then What Does Cause Diabetes?
It seems that, and this is a big surprise to a lot of people, high-blood fat is directly related to the cause of diabetes and seems to sustain it.
And blood fat is nearly always directly related to the amount of fat we consume in our diets. But not all fats are created equal.
According to the research, PUFA fats – or polyunsaturated fats, have the worst effects on the body.
PUFAs include all kinds of fats that are in every type of food we eat. Including all kinds of vegetable oils, soy oil, canola oil, and fish oils.
And in another study it shows that high fat diets, especially diets high in PUFAs cause:
DIETARY-INDUCED OBESITY AND INSULIN RESISTANCE.
Which means that free blood fat, especially PUFA based blood fat, actually causes the insulin resistance that creates problems with sugar.
All this time we’ve been told sugar is the cause, when that is probably not actually the case.
Here’s What I Recommend (Not Medical Advice)
First of all, I’m not a doctor, I’m a researcher, so this is not medical advice. Consult your doctor before changing anything.
The evidence here points to two things. Eating too much fat, especially PUFA fat, seems to lead to diabetes and make it way, way worse. So get the polyunsaturated fat out of your diet. It’s in all kinds of processed foods too, so watch out for it there.
And fruit, seems to have a protective effect, even if you have diabetes already. Very ripe fruit is even better. So eat more of that.
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Fresh Fruit and Diabetes:
A high-fat diet coordinately downregulates genes required for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in skeletal muscle