Raisins are known to significantly reduce the risk of diabetes. They are an incredible nutritional powerhouse. They come packed with essential nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and anti-oxidants. The main question is: Are raisins good for diabetes? The answer is a big YES.
Of course, people with diabetes can eat raisins in a specific quantity. Raisins, also known as dried grapes, have a sweet taste. They also increase satiety and decrease appetite. You can incorporate raisins in your diet to make it fiber-rich.
Whether you consume raisins alone or with any other dry fruit, it’s perfectly fine. In fact, our body needs a good amount of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. And raisins are a good source to attain all these nutrients. Eat raisins, it’s that simple.
People suffering from diabetes should know that consuming fruit and vegetables can affect their health. It’s better for them to take a balanced diet. As far as raisins are concerned, it is important to know how they affect the glycemic index of the body, and what quantity of this dried fruit they should consume to remain healthy.
How much Raisin is safe for a Diabetic Patient?
Even if raisins are safe to eat, being a diabetic patient, you must consume them in a moderate quantity to avoid sugar spikes. That’s a friendly advice.
Remember that every fruit contains carbohydrates. Even if you want to consume dry fruit as a snack, then you must ensure that you add the desired amount of carbs to your diet.
It is important to note that two tablespoons of raisins contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates. It’s upon you to decide what quantity of raisins would you want to consume in a single serving.
Why Raisins are important?
Just like other dry fruits, raisins have high nutritional value with low calories. One-fourth cup serving of raisins contains only 120 calories, two grams of dietary fibers, 298 milligrams of potassium, and 25 milligrams of calcium.
Raisin is a good source of calcium that contributes to building strong bones. The fibers present in raisins make your digestive system efficient. Meanwhile, potassium stimulates your nervous system to communicate better. It also strengthens your muscles. Advantage you.
Can Raisins regulate Blood Sugar?
The simple answer to this question is, yes.
A research was conducted on 10 healthy individuals including 4 males and 6 females to see the reaction of raisins on their body glycemic index. These individuals were required to eat four meals in the morning (2 meals with white bread and 2 meals with pure raisins). During the research, the researchers monitored the insulin level after every two hours.
The study showed that when participants consumed raisin-based meals, they had considerably lower insulin levels as compared to white bread meals. The researchers concluded that raisins have a significantly positive impact on the glycemic control of the blood insulin.
Throughout this article, we have mentioned the terms glycemic index and glycemic control. What really is a glycemic index or glycemic control, and how raisins impact it?
The glycemic index is a scale that is used to rank the number of carbohydrates to know how quickly they stimulate blood sugar to rise. When people with any type of diabetes consume a diet with a low glycemic index, it eventually helps in maintaining the blood sugar, thereby helping you to control your diabetes.
Furthermore, a diet with a low glycemic index value helps you in your weight loss journey.
Foods with a low glycemic index include:
- Barley, Bulgar
- Bran cereals
- Apples, grapefruits, oranges, and many seasonal fruits
- Carrots, green vegetables, and non-starchy foods
- Yogurt, and milk
- Beans, legumes, and nuts
Foods with moderate glycemic index include:
- Brown rice
- Pita and rye bread
Food with a high glycemic index include:
- Instant processed oatmeal
- Snack foods
Foods that contain the same amount of carbohydrates do not need to have the same glycemic index value. It is important to understand that lower the number on the scale, lesser the impact of food on your sugar level.
Where does Raisin fall in a Glycemic Index?
It is important to know that fruits rank low on the glycemic index because they are rich in fructose and fiber. But some of the fruits, for example, raisins that rank medium on the scale may have a negative impact on your blood sugar, if not taken in a moderate quantity.
Other fruits that rank medium in the glycemic scale include:
- Sweetened cranberries
If you make a dessert with raisins, then you should consume one-fourth cup or a small portion of the snack at a time. According to the CDC (Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention), 2 tablespoons of raisin contain 15 grams of carbohydrates, and that is enough for a single serving. So, you should not exceed the limit if you are suffering from diabetes.
However, you can eat more grapes than raisins, as grapes have low glycemic index value. Once the grapes are dried, the sugar gets concentrated, thus raisins have higher sugar content.
Do you know there is more than one type of raisins? Let’s find out more about the types of raisins.
What are different types of Raisins?
Raisins contain much more nutrients than its smaller size might have indicated. When grapes are dried to form raisins, it becomes rich in potassium, iron, and vitamin B.
There are many different types of raisins that you may have not known before. They come in different colors, sizes, shapes, and flavors.
Many of them come from different types of grapes including Flame seedless, Muscat, Sultana, Thompson seedless, and Black Corinth.
Varieties of Raisins
Let’s check out the different varieties of raisins.
- Green Raisins
- Black Raisins
- Golden Raisins
- Red Raisins
If you want to purchase raisins in a bulk quantity, don’t get them from uncovered jars on the shelves. Also, look for the quality of raisins as well, if they are mixed with all different types or are packed separately.
Healthy Lifestyle Guidelines for Diabetic Patients
To remain healthy, we all should consume a balanced diet. This is especially true for individuals who are suffering from diabetes.
A healthy eating routine not only contributes to maintaining a good body weight but also keeps the blood sugar level in control. A balanced diet provides you the energy that you need to head start your day.
A healthy diet includes fat-free milk, vegetables, fruits, and also whole grains. It is also mandatory to include lean proteins in your diet. Fish, eggs, poultry, and beans are a good source of lean proteins.
If you want to maintain your sugar intake to a minimum, ensure that you cut down on sodium intake.
Ways to add Raisin to your Diet in a Healthier Way
You may have avoided raisin because of the glycemic reactions, or you may just want to control your blood sugar. Nonetheless, you can consume raisins in a moderate quantity to remain healthy, even if you are suffering from diabetes. You can add a few raisins in your meals and get all of the goodness. You can add raisins in:
As we have discussed earlier that raisins are rich in carbohydrates, people suffering from diabetes should limit carbohydrate intake. However, consuming a protein-rich diet may help the body to be prepared for a diet that is rich in carbohydrates.
If you plan to have a diet full of carbohydrates, try consuming a handful of almonds, an ounce of cheese, or a cup of plain yogurt a few minutes before you eat a cup of raisins or meals that contain grapes. The rich protein and fiber diet will facilitate the digestion process, thereby decreasing the risk of unwanted blood sugar spikes.