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The #1 Best Fruit To Lower Obesity and Diabetes Risk, New Study Finds

You're going to want to eat a handful of these each day.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

We already know that fruits provide you with a ton of health benefits. However, you may be surprised to know that the average person in the United States does not eat enough of them. A lifestyle full of fruits—as well as vegetables—can lead to weight loss, bone health, inflammation, and so much more, so it's important you eat at least the recommended amount of just two servings a day.

As healthy as fruits are to incorporate into your lifestyle, this one discovery may convince you to further modify your diet. According to new research published in the July 2022 issue of the journal Food Research International, fruits high in polyphenols can reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity. Researchers found the same was true for vegetables high in polyphenols.

Polyphenols are beneficial plant compounds that act as antioxidants in the body. They are known to protect the body's tissues against oxidative stress and related diseases such as cancers, coronary heart disease, and inflammation.

The research has been a work in progress from the College of Food Science and Nutritional Engineering at China Agricultural University, as well as the Department of Nutrition and Hygiene at HebeiMedical University.

According to the researchers, polyphenols are widely present in diets and have resistant effects on some chronic metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity.

In the study, researchers investigated the effects of polyphenols in fruits and vegetables on reducing the risk of both type 2 diabetes and obesity. They found that in addition to reducing oxidative stress, polyphenols play an important role in the relationship between type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Woman eating bowl of fruit

Polyphenols play a role in regulating hunger hormones, such as leptin, the "I'm full," hormone. By suppressing hunger, eating polyphenol-rich foods can help reduce food intake, thereby lowering your risk of obesity. These plant compounds are also part of your fat metabolism pathway, helping to break down fat through fatty acid oxidation.

Eating polyphenols can also reduce type 2 diabetes risk by improving obesity, the study found.

While many of us simplify obesity down to just weight gain, the chronic disease is much more than that; it not only affects your weight—it also puts you at risk of developing additional metabolic diseases. Obesity is a low-grade chronic inflammation that causes insulin resistance, and insulin resistance can lead to developing type 2 diabetes. This close tie between obesity and diabetes is why the researchers summarized that polyphenol intake can support lowering the risk of both diseases.

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Fruits and vegetables high in polyphenols

If you want to choose fruits that are high in polyphenols that may help reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity, then find yourself grabbing these on your next grocery run:

Kayla Garritano
Kayla Garritano graduated from Hofstra University, where she majored in Journalism and double minored in Marketing and Creative Writing. Read more about Kayla