Eating just one serving of green leafy vegetables or three servings of fruit a day reduces the risk of developing Type II diabetes, say researchers at Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and the Harvard School of Public Health. The research team also found that one serving of fruit juice a day increased the risk of Type II diabetes in women.
Tulane epidemiologist Dr Lydia Bazzano says, 'Based on the results of our study, people who have risk factors for diabetes may find it helpful to fill up on leafy greens like lettuces, kale and spinach and whole fruits, like apples, bananas, oranges and watermelon rather than drink fruit juices, which deliver a big sugar load in a liquid form that gets absorbed rapidly.'
Bazzano and her team analysed 18 years worth of diet and health data from 71,346 nurses who participated in the Nurses' Health Study from 1984 to 2002. The study was published in the 4 April 2008 online issue of Diabetes Care.
In addition to emphasising the importance of eating whole fruits and green leafy vegetables to prevent diabetes, the team also recommends replacing refined grains and white potatoes with whole fruit or green leafy vegetable servings. White flours and potatoes have been associated with an increased risk of diabetes.