June 2 (UPI) -- People who consume two servings of fruit per day have one-third lower odds of developing Type 2 diabetes than those who consume less than half a serving, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
"We found people who consumed around 2 servings of fruit per day had a 36% lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes over the next five years than those who consumed less than half a serving of fruit per day," study author Nicola Bondonno said in a press release.
"We did not see the same patterns for fruit juice. These findings indicate that a healthy diet and lifestyle which includes the consumption of whole fruits is a great strategy to lower your diabetes risk," said Bondonno, a researcher at Edith Cowan University's Institute for Nutrition Research in Perth, Australia.
Researchers analyzed data on 7,675 participants from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute's Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study who provided information on their fruit and fruit juice intake through a food frequency questionnaire.
They found that people who consumed more fruit had to produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels.
"This is important because high levels of circulating insulin -- hyperinsulinemia -- can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease," Bondonno said.
Diabetes is a huge public health burden, according to the Endocrine Society.
About 463 million people had diabetes globally in 2019, a number that is expected to rise to 700 million in 2045.
Approximately 374 million people are at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, but a healthy diet and lifestyle can lower a person's diabetes risk.
In July, two studies showed that eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods could lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
One study looked at more than 9,700 people who developed Type 2 diabetes and over 13,600 who didn't, finding that people with the highest levels of fruit and vegetable consumption were 50% less likely to develop diabetes.
Another study included more than 158,000 American women and over 36,000 American men, and that one found that people with the highest levels of whole-grain consumption had 29% lower rates of Type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest levels.