Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) is a chronic condition that affects the way the body processes blood sugar (glucose). T2DM effects 451 million people worldwide and is a growing public concern, and an additional 374 million people are currently at risk of developing the disease.1
With type 2 diabetes, the body either doesn't produce enough insulin or it resists insulin, both causing increased blood glucose. The symptoms of elevated glucose levels include increased thirst, frequent urination, hunger, fatigue and blurred vision. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. Treatments include diet, exercise, medication and insulin therapy.
There’s been many years of research on diabetes prevention and management and recent evidence validates consuming 2 serves of fruit per day correlates to 36% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These recommendations are the same as the Australian Dietary Guidelines recommendations for fruit intake. Fruit provides essential vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and phytochemicals for good health outcomes. Additionally, a new research study, over 5 years from 7675 Australians showed 2 serves of fruit per day also creates higher levels of insulin sensitivity in the body compared to those who consume less than half serve of per day.1 This correlates to the body needing to produce less insulin to lower blood glucose levels, as too higher levels of circulating insulin may lead to damaged blood vessels causing T2DM, hypertension, heart disease and obesity.1 Research also uncovered that fresh fruit is always best and not juice as juice has higher levels of sugar with lower levels of fibre. The fibre in fruit helps control the release of sugar into the blood and slows digestion keeping us satisfied longer.1,2,3,4
Other studies also show specific fruits and vegetables are helpful in the diet for reduced risk factors of T2DM. Consuming a range of fibrous green, yellow and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, broccoli, brussel sprouts), blueberries, apples and grapes, reduce risks of T2DM.2,4 Along with citrus, kiwi fruit, cantaloupe, broccoli, red cabbage and bell peppers intakes, these increase Vitamin C plasma concentrates in your body to improve insulin sensitivity that similarly leads to reduced risks of Diabetes Mellitus.2,3,4,5
In conclusion, a healthy lifestyle and diet, which includes the consumption of whole fruits and vegetables and therefor fibre, is an excellent strategy to lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 1,2,3,4,5
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