Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other nutrients.
But many of us don’t realize that they also contain sugars and starches.
We often ignore that fact and, if you’re like me, you probably think fruits and vegetables have to be sweet to be good for you.
But according to a new study, that’s not always the case.
When researchers from The Ohio State University and the University of Pennsylvania tracked how fruit and vegetable consumption affects our blood sugar levels, they found that it doesn’t have to just be sweet.
The sugar content of fruits and veggies is also linked to better health.
In particular, the researchers found that the amount of fructose in fruit and vegetables was linked to improved insulin sensitivity and improved insulin action.
“In the past, it was thought that fruit and veggies had to be ‘healthy’ to be effective for blood sugar control,” said lead author Christopher M. L. Waddell, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Ohio State.
“We found that sugar was actually linked to a whole lot more good things in fruits and vegetable intake.”
To find out whether sugar in fruits or vegetables can help us manage our blood sugars, the scientists compared blood sugar responses to foods high in sugar.
Their results were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
What’s more, they also found that foods with a higher percentage of fructose (as opposed to other types of sugars) were linked to higher blood sugar.
“People have been looking for ways to improve their blood sugar for decades,” Waddelle said.
“The sugar in sugar is not only a contributor to our blood glucose, but it’s also a contributor for our heart disease risk.”
This research was done in the United States.
However, Waddells team plans to expand their research to countries around the world.
For example, they’ve also studied whether eating more fruits and berries can help people with type 2 diabetes, which can lead to heart disease and diabetes-related deaths.
“This study shows that people with Type 2 diabetes can benefit from consuming more fruits, berries and vegetables, and it also suggests that we need to be looking at fruits and veg intake in terms of other health benefits,” Waddingell said.
And as for us, Waddingells team suggests that you keep an eye on your fruit and veggie intake.
It’s important to keep an overall healthy weight and avoid getting too fat, and to avoid consuming too much sugar.
So, if there’s one thing that we can learn from the study, it’s that fruits and greens are a great way to help us feel fuller and healthier.
You can find more great information on eating well with our new Healthy Eating Tips article.
And don’t forget to check out our list of the best food blogs for more delicious, nutritious, health-enhancing content.