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Diabetes is a disease characterized by too much sugar in the bloodstream, which can lead to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves. Diabetes is a huge public health burden. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, which also accounts for 1.6 million deaths each year. By 2045 this number is expected to rise to 700 million. A healthy diet and lifestyle, which includes the consumption of whole fruits, is a great strategy to lower your diabetes risk. In fact, a new study has revealed that eating two servings of fruit per day can lower the odds of developing type 2 diabetes by 36 percent compared to those who consume less than half a serving. However, the benefit is not seen in fruit juice.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, affecting mostly adults. It occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically worldwide in the past three decades and as many as 374 million people are estimated to be at increased risk of developing the condition.
Nicola Bondonno, Ph.D., of Edith Cowan University's Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, Australia, and team studied data from 7,675 participants who provided information on their fruit and fruit juice intake. They found that those who ate more whole fruits had 36 percent lower odds of having diabetes at five years. They observed an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity, that is people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels.
Experts say being active, eating a healthy diet and maintaining a normal weight can help prevent most cases of type 2 diabetes. These steps can also lower the risk of developing heart disease and some cancers. The same lifestyle modifications can benefit even those who currently have diabetes, helping to keep their blood glucose under control.
Being overweight is the single most important cause of type 2 diabetes. Obese people are 20 to 40 times more likely to develop diabetes than those with healthy weight. So, try to keep your weight in the healthy range.
Inactivity can also promote type 2 diabetes. You don't have to run a marathon or hit the gym to keep diabetes at bay. Research says just walking briskly for 30 minutes every day can help cut the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 30%.
Diet can have a big impact on the risk of type 2 diabetes. Avoid refined grains and highly processed carbohydrates, instead eat more whole grains and whole grain products. Choose water, coffee, or tea over sugary drinks. Eat healthful fats, limit red meat and avoid processed meat, keep your alcohol consumption in the moderate range and don't smoke. Smokers are twice more likely to develop diabetes than nonsmokers.
A study published in Diabetologia in 2019 also linked a combination of healthy lifestyle factors, such as not smoking, avoiding alcohol, participating in physical activity and maintaining a normal weight, to 75% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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