Linda Shiue, MD, debunks fruit-eating myth for diabetes


What are some misconceptions about eating that nutrition experts wish would go away? The New York Times offered up 10 common myths and interviewed experts across the country, including Linda Shiue, MD, internal medicine physician with The Permanente Medical Group in Northern California.

Dr. Shiue, director of Culinary Medicine and Lifestyle Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco, tackled the myth that natural sugar from whole fruit has the same effect on diabetes as added sugar in fruit juices. The Times article cited research that shows people who consume a daily serving of whole fruit — especially blueberries, grapes, and apples — can lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Shiue said everyone, including people who have type 2 diabetes, can gain additional nutritional benefits from eating fruit, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

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The article, “10 Nutrition Myths Experts Wish Would Die,” examined other false beliefs about food, including the myths that fresh fruits and vegetables are better than canned or frozen ones, plant milk is healthier than dairy milk, you can’t get enough protein from plants, and more.

People may feel that dietary guidelines and nutrition advice are constantly changing. But according to Marion Nestle, professor emerita of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, early dietary recommendations for preventing obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease advised balancing calories and minimizing saturated fat, salt, and sugar; much of “the current U.S. Dietary Guidelines urge the same.” Nestle added that even simple nutrition advice from people like noted author Michael Pollan — “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” — worked 70 years ago and remains good advice today.

Note: Read the full article on The New York Times site (subscription may be required).