Healthy diet, fruit and vegetables and type 2 diabetes


The prevalence of diabetes, predominantly type 2 diabetes goes on increasing worldwide. Type 2 diabetes is a real public health concern as it is associated with higher morbidity and mortality risks than other noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease. According to numerous studies, changing our dietary habits by adding more fruit and vegetables to our diet may reduce type 2 diabetes risk.

The Global Fruit and Veg Newsletter of this month presents three articles confirming the importance of fruit and vegetables in the management of type 2 diabetes prevention, from diet to specific nutrients.

The first article, based on the British cohort UK Biobank, examines combination of foods when most of studies focuses on associations with nutrients or single foods and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The authors show that diets particularly low in fresh fruit and vegetables are associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Indeed, they highlight the importance of taking into account the whole diet and suggest to base dietary guidelines on foods instead of nutrients, as it may also help accelerate behavior change.

The second study aims to explore the dose-response of fruit and vegetables intake and type 2 diabetes risk in almost 40,000 Chinese adults from rural areas of Henan province. This article shows a decrease of the odds of type 2 diabetes with fruit intake higher than 260g/day or fruit and vegetable consumption between 600 and 1000 g/day.

The last article investigates the impact of polyphenols on the glycemic control and metabolic parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes. After an intervention with resveratrol, anthocyanin, and naringin, the authors reported significant reductions in fasting blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

Together, these three articles show that adding more fruits and vegetables to our diets is essential in the presentation of type 2 diabetes.

Jean-François Thébaut Cardiologist
Vice-president in charge of advocacy at the French Federation of Diabetics
About the author

Jean-François Thébaut was a cardiologist from 1980 to 2013, President of the French National Union of Cardiologists from 2005 to 2011 and President of the National Professional Council of Cardiology in 2008/2011.

He has held a wide range of elective positions in the profession, the professional association and the trade union, both in his specialty and across the board. He has been involved in training and patient quality and safety since 1990, and was appointed President of the HCDPC in 2016/2020, then a member of the National Council for Periodic Certification from September 2022.

As a member of the College of the French National Authority for Health (Haute Autorité de Santé) from 2011 to 2017, he successively chaired the Patient Safety and Practice Improvement Commission, then temporarily the CNEDIMTS, and from 2016 to 2017 the CEES. He contributed to the consultation of the 2016 Health Law, on local care and the constitution of CPTSs, then to the steering committee of the Great Health Conference in 2016. He is a scientific advisor to the HCAAM and an expert at the HDH’s CESREES and a member of the HDH’s CoStrat.

He has been a diabetic for over twenty years, and was elected vice-president of the French Federation of Diabetics in charge of advocacy in September 2019. He is a regular contributor to France Asso Santé working groups, notably as a user representative at the APHP.

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