Yes, grapes are good for people with diabetes! Read on to learn more about the health benefits of grapes, as well as the best ways to eat grapes for blood sugar control.
People with diabetes don’t have to avoid fresh fruit, even grapes. Here are a number of ways grapes can improve your overall health, along with information that will allay any fears you may have about grapes wreaking havoc on your blood sugar.
Just a word of caution: unlike other high-fiber fruits, like berries, grapes raise blood sugar, especially if eaten on an empty stomach or without other foods containing protein or fat.
Are grapes good for people with diabetes?
Yes; the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes eat fruits, including green and purple grapes.
Despite the fact that carbs can raise blood sugar, the body still needs this important macronutrient for energy. Grapes are an excellent source of carbohydrates for people with diabetes, as they have the added benefit of being loaded with beneficial micronutrients such as minerals, vitamins, and a variety of disease-fighting phytochemicals.
Since grapes contain natural sugar, they can also satisfy the sweet tooth. Enjoying this type of “nature’s candy” can help stave off cravings for other, faster-acting sources of sugar, like what’s found in gummies, lollipops, and lollipops.
Health Benefits of Grapes
Pack of antioxidants
Grapes are a versatile powerhouse when it comes to the wide variety of anti-inflammatory and anti-free radical scavenging compounds they contain. Every part – from the skin to the flesh to the seed – is rich in phytonutrients, including polyphenols such as phenolic acids, stilbenes and flavonoids. These antioxidants protect the brain, heart, and liver from harmful toxins and reduce the risk of various cancers, including breast and skin cancers.
Control blood pressure
Resveratrol, a polyphenol found in red grapes, has been shown in clinical trials to help lower blood pressure in people with hypertension. While researchers have focused primarily on using high doses of this plant compound in supplement form and more studies need to be conducted, the results give you confidence throwing a few raisins on a yogurt or salad!
Lower blood sugar
In one study, people with type 2 diabetes were given just over half a cup of grape wine (with and without alcohol) to drink daily for four weeks. Subjects in both wine groups had lower fasting blood sugar, lower insulin levels, and lower Ha1C, a three-month average of your blood sugar. Although more research is needed, the results suggest the possibility that compounds in red wine may improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes.
In a small but powerful randomized control study, researchers gave dialysis patients and healthy people concentrated red grape juice to drink daily for two weeks. As a result of the study, both groups saw a significant decrease in their LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol, an increase in HDL (or “good”) cholesterol, and a decrease in inflammation linked to heart disease. Researchers suspect that credit for the heart-protecting effects goes to the impressive combination of carotenoids, vitamin C and vitamin E in grapes.
How many grapes can people with diabetes have?
It depends! If you count the exchanges, know that 17 grapes contain 15 grams of carbohydrates (the equivalent of one exchange). If you’re just aware of the total number of carbs you’re consuming, it may be more helpful to know that a cup of grapes contains about 27 grams of carbs.
They’re especially gentle on blood sugar when you pair them with foods high in fat or protein and low in carbs. Eat a handful of grapes with a wedge of cheese to create a satisfying snack, slice them up and toss them with a fresh salad or add some surprising sweetness to chicken salad.
What color grapes are best for people with diabetes?
It depends on what is important to you. In most types of grapes, the vitamins, minerals and fiber are about the same. If you’re concerned about carbs, then sour grapes are the best choice because gram for gram they contain slightly less sugar.
If antioxidants and overall disease prevention are important, darker grapes such as red and concord grapes are your best bet because they contain the highest amount of polyphenols.
And if taste is the thing that will make you enjoy grapes more often, then learn how to find just the right sweet and sour ratio by reading more about the different varieties of grapes.
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