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Fruit associated with lower risk of diabetes and related complications

It’s National Diabetes Month.  Instead of talking about what you can’t have, let’s talk about what you CAN have!  A common misconception among people with diabetes is that fruit should be avoided due to its natural sugar content.  New research published in PLOS Medicine, suggests that we should think again! 

With the goal of better understanding how fruit consumption relates to diabetes and its complications, researchers at the University of Oxford, studied nearly ½ million adults in China.  As part of the investigation, participants had anthropometrics and bloodwork tracked for seven years while food intake was measured by electronic survey.  Researchers found that those without diabetes at the start of the study had 12% lower risk of developing diabetes when they had more fresh fruit in their diet.  Among those with diabetes, higher fruit intake (>3 days/week) was associated with 17% lower risk of death and 13-28% lower risk of developing diabetes related complications. 

While fruit does contain natural sugar, it is an important part of a healthy diet. We all need to practice portion control, and this may be especially important for people with diabetes, as fruit can raise blood sugar in some people. Fruits are a delicious way to get the essential vitamins and minerals needed by the body for proper immunity and optimal functioning.

If you want to start incorporating more fruit into your meals, try our Tropical Turkey Chili.  It’s a fun twist on traditional and satisfying chili, lower in fat and has 3g of fiber per serving. 

Remember:  A rule of thumb for those with diabetes is when eating foods rich in carbohydrates, like fruit, to combine with protein and fat.  For example, an apple with 2 TBSP peanut butter or our Dole Tropical Parfait.     

Published November 1, 2017

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