A large cohort study involving researchers from the US, UK and SIngapore, which focused on individual fruit consumption and risk of diabetes, reveals that certain fruits - but not juices - may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.

The study, published in BMJ, pulled data from three studies: the Nurses' Health Study (NHS 1984-2008), the Nurses' Health Study II (NHS II 1991-2009) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS 1986-2008).

In total, there were 187,382 participants, both men and women, who took part in the study, and participants who had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start were not included.

The researchers used food frequency questionnaires every 4 years in order to analyze the participants' diet, and ten fruits were used in the study:

  • Grapes or raisins
  • Peaches, plums or apricots
  • Prunes
  • Bananas
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples or pears
  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries.
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Additionally, fruit juice, such as apple, orange and grapefruit juice, was included.

Over the course of the study, 6.5% of the participants developed diabetes, but the researchers found that consuming three servings per week of blueberries, grapes, raisins, apples or pears reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 7%.

However, the results also showed that the greater amount of fruit juice an individual drank, the more their risk for type 2 diabetes increased.

In general, substituting fruit juice with whole fruits decreased this risk, but strawberries and cantaloupe were the exception to this finding.

The researchers write in the study:

"Individual fruits might not be equally associated with risk of type 2 diabetes in that fruits have highly variable contents of fibre, antioxidants, other nutrients, and phytochemicals that jointly may influence the risk."

They add that their results support current recommendations to eat more and a diverse range of whole fruits in order to prevent diabetes.

Medical News Today recently reported that eating fruits, such as apples, pears and bananas, could cut your risk of abdominal aortic aneurysm.