Higher intake of fruits, vegetables or their fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes: A meta-analysis

J Diabetes Investig. 2016 Jan;7(1):56-69. doi: 10.1111/jdi.12376. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


Aims/introduction: Some previous studies reported no significant association of consuming fruit or vegetables, or fruit and vegetables combined, with type 2 diabetes. Others reported that only a greater intake of green leafy vegetables reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes. To further investigate the relationship between them, we carried out a meta-analysis to estimate the independent effects of the intake of fruit, vegetables and fiber on the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Materials and methods: Searches of MEDLINE and EMBASE for reports of prospective cohort studies published from 1 January 1966 to 21 July 2014 were carried out, checking reference lists, hand-searching journals and contacting experts.

Results: The primary analysis included a total of 23 (11 + 12) articles. The pooled maximum-adjusted relative risk of type 2 diabetes for the highest intake vs the lowest intake were 0.91 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.87-0.96) for total fruits, 0.75 (95% CI 0.66-0.84) for blueberries, 0.87 (95% CI 0.81-0.93) for green leafy vegetables, 0.72 (95% CI 0.57-0.90) for yellow vegetables, 0.82 (95% CI 0.67-0.99) for cruciferous vegetables and 0.93 (95% CI 0.88-0.99) for fruit fiber in these high-quality studies in which scores were seven or greater, and 0.87 (95% CI 0.80-0.94) for vegetable fiber in studies with a follow-up period of 10 years or more.

Conclusions: A higher intake of fruit, especially berries, and green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, cruciferous vegetables or their fiber is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: Meta‐analysis; Nutrition intake; Type 2 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / diet therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology*
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables*