The Healthiest Fruit
All fruit isn’t created equal when it comes to preventing diabetes. A Harvard University study that tracked the diets of more than 185,000 people over 12 years shows that eating strawberries, oranges, peaches, plums, and apricots has no impact on a person’s likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. But grapes, apples, grapefruit, and blueberries do help ward off the disease. Blueberries had the greatest effect on diabetes risk: Eating between one and three servings a month decreased risk by 11 percent; eating five servings a week decreased it by 26 percent. But the benefits of certain fruits don’t extend to juices made from those fruits. The study found that drinking a single serving of juice per day increases the risk of diabetes by 21 percent. “During juicing processes, some phytochemicals and dietary fiber are lost,” says study author Qi Sun. The phytochemicals include antioxidants that may help the body break down glucose, while fiber slows absorption of sugars. Many juices also contain added sugars, which can promote diabetic changes in the body.