Beta cells have low levels of antioxidants and are susceptible to attack by metabolic and dietary oxidised free radicals and AGEs. Antioxidants in fruit can protect beta cells.
Researchers have found that eating whole fruit decreases the risk of Type 2 diabetes, with those who eat the most fruit having the lowest risk.
DETOXING FROM SUGAR
People interested in losing weight and improving health often ask if they should do a “sugar detox.” In my opinion this is a waste of time, because it is not possible to eliminate sugar from the body.
For instance, if you ate only baked chicken breasts, your liver would convert protein to glucose in a process called gluconeogenesis.
Low-carb diets may lead to weight loss, but at the expense of health. Diets that significantly reduce carbohydrates are associated with nutrient deficiencies and higher risk of death from any cause.
On low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets the body will break down muscles and turn their protein into glucose. The lack of fiber causes constipation.
Eliminating foods sweetened with refined sugar is a worthy goal. But don’t think of it as a “detox” – it should be a permanent lifestyle change. The safest way to go on a refined sugar “detox” is to increase your intake of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
Once you eliminate refined sugar, you’ll likely find that your taste buds become more sensitive to – and appreciative of – the natural sweetness of fruits.
Jennifer Rooke is an Assistant Professor of Community Health & Preventive Medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine. This commentary first appeared on The Conversation.