Drinking fruit juice increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to US scientists.
Fruit juice’s lack of fibre and high sugar content may be increasing the risk, they claimed.
Diabetes patients shouldn’t replace high-sugar beverages with fruit juice, in an attempt to cater toward their condition, the researchers said.
Caution should be applied when counting 100 per cent fruit juice as one of our five a day, they added.
“Intake of fruit juices was positively associated with incidence of type 2 diabetes,” said the scientists, from Harvard and Tulane universities.
“The rapid delivery of a large sugar load, without many other components that are a part of whole fruits, may be an important mechanism by which fruit juices could contribute to the development of diabetes.”
But eating whole fruit and leafy green vegetables reduced the risk of developing the condition, they found.
That’s because they have a low energy density, and are rich in fibre and micronutrients.
Diabetes UK said it was a good idea to drink only one small glass of fruit juice a day.
Fruit juice has most of its fibre removed when being manufactured, which makes it easy to drink large quantities in one sitting, the charity added.
“We know that too much of our sugar intake is coming from juices and smoothies, so it makes sense to cut down,” said Diabetes UK.
“The good news is that we are not eating enough fruit, so this is something you can eat more of.”
Type 2 diabetes is caused by the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or by the body’s cells not responding to insulin.
Symptoms of the condition include having an unquenchable thirst, feeling very tired, unexplained weight loss, and blurred vision.
It may be possible to control the condition by making lifestyle changes. That includes losing weight, exercising more often, and eating a healthy, balanced diet.
Diabetes patients are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, according to the NHS.