Research published Thursday in the British Medical Journal analyzed the results of long-term health studies that tracked the diets of nearly 200,000 people over two decades, some of whom developed type 2 diabetes.
The scientists found that those who ate at least a couple of servings per week of certain whole fruits — notably blueberries, grapes, and apples — were 23 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who avoided them.
On the other hand, those who drank at least one serving of fruit juice daily were 21 percent more likely to develop the disease. The BBC breaks it down:
The study calculated that replacing weekly fruit juice consumption with whole fruits could bring health benefits.
For example, replacing fruit juice with blueberries could reduce the risk of contracting type-2 diabetes by 33%, with grapes and raisins by 19%, apples and pears by 13% – and with any combination of whole fruit by 7%.
Replacing fruit juice with oranges, peaches, plums and apricots had a similar effect.
Qi Sun, study author and assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health, said, in general, fruit juices contained less of the beneficial compounds found in whole fruits.
“The juicing process gets rid of the fruit, just leaving fluids which are absorbed more quickly, causing blood sugars and insulin levels to rise if they contain sugars.”
So don’t fear the fruit, folks. Fear the fruit juice.