Fruit juices are often grabbed off store shelves or out of refrigerated displays as substitutes for sodas, which have obvious adverse health effects.
But there are concerns over the sugar spikes inherent with consuming fruit juices, especially store-bought juices that aren’t freshly made. Many of those have added sugar.
A rather large study involving 187,382 participants totaling 3,464,641 years of follow-up was concluded recently by three research groups located in the USA, UK and Singapore. The study determined that eating whole fruits lowered diabetes type-2 risks while drinking fruit juices increased the diabetes type-2 risk.
A study of this magnitude is accomplished by using large pools of people (cohorts) followed over time to create data bases that are compiled for analysis. For this study, the Nurses’ Health Study of 1984 – 2008, the Nurses’ Health Study II for 1991-2009 and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study during 1986 – 2008 were all combined.
All of these studies involve prospective (follow-up) questionnaire surveys that can be applied to several study scenarios. Also, using health professional cohorts with their health records and medical testing readily available helps create a reliable, versatile data base.
The same dietary data and health records compiled could be used for determining cardiovascular health effects as well as type-2 diabetes. And the data from those nurses and health professional studies have been used for several other research topics.
Some study details with mixed reviews with one area of agreement
Head of research for Diabetes UK, Dr. Mathew Hobbs said the study provided further evidence that eating plenty of whole fruit was a key to minimizing the risk of diabetes type-2.
And Kamlesh Khunti, professor of primary care diabetes at the University of Leicester, said the large study showed that eating any fruit is good. These are two examples of a probable widespread consensus: eating whole fruits is good for you.
However, Dr. Hobbs was a little less enthusiastic about the study’s efforts to determine which fruits and fruit drinks contributed to less or more type-2 diabetes risks:
“Some of the findings are based on a number of assumptions and models which may have distorted the results significantly,” cautioned Dr. Hobbs. “For example, the researchers used surveys to ask participants how often they ate certain foods. This type of survey can often be unreliable as people are more likely to remember certain types of food.”
Indeed, according to the British Medical Journal press release on the study, participating subjects from the nurse study pools were surveyed for what fruits and/or fruit juices they consumed and at what frequency every four years.
The fruits used were: Grapes or raisins; peaches, plums or apricots; prunes; bananas; cantaloupe; apples or pears; oranges; grapefruit; strawberries; blueberries. Fruit juices included: Apple; orange; grapefruit and other fruit juices.
This study determined that, while fruit juices generally increased diabetes risk, whole blueberries could reduce the risk by 33%, grapes and raisins by 19% and apples and pears by 13%. Strawberries and cantaloupes were the only whole fruits that didn’t fare much better than fruit juices for diabetes risks.
Of course, whole fruits contain fiber and other nutrients that reduce the glucose spike of fruit juices. This is good news for anyone who is diabetic or showing signs of heading that way.
However, the flip side of juicing for healing or detoxing should be duly noted. One example is how Charlotte Gerson recently recovered miraculously from a serious hip fracture at age 90, the sort of thing that kills older people.
She consumed eight glasses of apple and highly glycemic carrot juices daily, along with her normal vegetarian food diet, and healed completely in a short period.
Sources for this study include:
- Researchers develop a simple eye scan that detects undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes
- Diabetes prevention: Following a 16-week vegan diet boosts gut microbes linked to body weight and blood sugar management
- Can cinnamon extracts help with diabetes and obesity?
- Naturally prevent conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke with vitamin D and hormone support