All diabetics know they should watch the sugar in their diet, but not many may realize that their morning glass of fresh squeezed OJ packs a whallop of a sugary over load. And blended fruit juices sweetened with additional sugar are even worse.
Fruit juice should not be considered a substitute for whole fruit, and even a little fruit juice in the diet may increase the risk for diabetes in women, say researchers at Tulane University in New Orleans.
A study of more than 70,000 women nurses followed for over 18 years documented detailed dietary habits in the participants along with the development of type-2 diabetes. The report, written by Dr. Lydia Bazzano and colleagues found that drinking one or more cups of orange juice per day was associated with a 24% increased risk for diabetes. Women who drank more than three cups of apple juice or grapefruit juice per month also showed a higher risk for the disease.
In contrast, eating three servings of whole fruit each day--or a serving of green leafy vegetables--reduced the risk for type-2 diabetes. Experts believe that the fiber in whole fruit helps slow the absorption of sugar as well as adds to bulk in the diet.
The researchers explain that a medium-size orange takes longer to eat and stays in the stomach longer than a glass of orange juice. It is also fewer calories. So a piece of whole fruit leaves people feeling fuller than the juice, is better for blood sugar control and helps in weight management.
While the findings need to be replicated, the authors conclude that “women with type-2 diabetes” should avoid fruit juice and “consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among (nondiabetic) women.”
Bazzano, L., et al, 2008. “Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women,” Diabetes Care. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/31/7/1311?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&author1=Bazzano%2C+Lydia&title=Fruit&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&fdate=6/1/2008&resourcetype=HWCIT
NHS Knowledge Service, 2008.