Fruit Juice May Increase Women’s Risk for Diabetes

We all know we are supposed to eat fruits and green leafy vegetables as part of a healthy diet. Fruit and vegetable consumption prevents heart disease, and fights obesity and high blood pressure. A newer study shows that the risk for developing diabetes also decreases when we eat extra servings of fruits and vegetables – but if you are a woman, fruit juice may contribute to the development of type2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

According to the authors, Lydia A. Bazzano, MD, PhD, from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and colleagues, “"Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower hazard of DM, whereas consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among women." The goal was to study the impact of all fruits and vegetables, specific groups of fruits and vegetables, and fruit juices on the development of Type 2 diabetes. Past studies are limited and the results have been inconsistent.

The study involved 71,346 female nurses enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study, aged 38to 63 years, all free of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. They were followed for eighteen years, using a system of self-reporting. Potatoes were not included in any of the vegetable categories. An increase of three servings per day in whole-fruit consumption was associated with a lower risk for diabetes, and the risk was slightly decreased with the consumption of green leafy vegetables, while those who consumed fruit juice reported a higher incidence of diabetes.

The authors suggest that women exercise caution when replacing some beverages with fruit juice."Moreover, the same caution applies to the recommendation that 100% fruit juice be considered a serving of fruit as it is in the present national dietary guidelines." They conclude - ”If fruits and vegetables are used to replace refined grains and white potatoes, both of which have been shown to be associated with increased risk of DM, the benefits of regular consumption of fruits and vegetables should be substantial.

Source: Diabetes Care. Published online April 4, 2008.

Updated January 24, 2014