Can diabetics have Raisins?

Raisins and diabetes

 

Dried fruits often help as a great snacking option to satisfy  hunger pangs between meals. But within this category, only almonds and walnuts are considered healthy by many. If you tell an obese or diabetic that even dates and raisins can be consumed , they are shocked!

Ask a diabetic whether they eat raisins, they will quickly say- No, how can we; it is so sweet. Ask them if they consume white bread, they will say- yes , I do have it atleast 2-3 times/ week.

 

Raisins are nothing but dried grapes. The process involves natural sun-drying for a period of 2 to 3 weeks during which the original grape phenolic profile changes and brown-black melanin pigments develop by enzymatic and non-enzymatic reactions to give them their charac-teristic brown color. Since they are in the dehydrated form, they provide more concentrated source of energy, vitamins and minerals.

Raisins Per 30g / 60 pcs
calories 84
carbohydrate 22g
Dietary fiber 1g
sugar 7g
protein 1g
Fat 0g
Calcium 14mg
Iron 0.5mg
  • The nutritional composition of raisins (table ) shows that they are mostly carbohydrate dense foods with little protein and zero fat. But, we know by now that not all carbs are bad , some types of carbohydrates are required by us and form the right source of energy
  • Raisins are also a fair source of iron considering that even a handful can fulfil 5% of the daily iron requirements.
  • The current USDA Dietary Guidelines suggests that 1/4 cup of raisins represents the dietary equivalent to a serving of fresh fruit
  • The specific type 2 diabetic recommendation by the American Diabetic Association for a serving of raisins is 2 tablespoons or 18 grams of raisins
  • Dried raisins have a long shelf-life, wide availability, and excellent portability due to a lack of need for refrigeration,in this regard raisin consumption could be used to improve fruit consumption across all groups including overweight as well as diabetic individuals.
  • Research study by Wilson et al (2012)  has shown that raisins providing 100kcal (i.e. about 1/4th cup or 35 gm) leads to a much smaller increase in blood glucose and insulin levels as compared to that of fresh grapes and white bread both providing 100 calories.
  • The higher amounts of phenolic compounds and fiber content of raisins may slow the process of digestion and absorption of sugars from the raisins

 

Naturally sweet tasting food is definitely more beneficial than refined flour containing man-made foods. A handful of raisins are a dense source of energy and also provide good amounts of fiber, vitamins, mineral and anti-oxidants . A small amount also provides satiety i.e. you can feel full upon consuming a handful also. This surely places them well above other snacks such as chips, samosas, or even bhel or sandwich. Only that one should bear in mind that there are no free foods, so moderation is always needed.

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Stay healthy with eKincare – your personal health manager!

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REFERENCES –

Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2012, 3, 1162-1166
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/fns.2012.38153 Published Online August 2012 (http://www.SciRP.org/journal/fns)
Glycemic Response of Type 2 Diabetics to Raisins
Ted Wilson*, Jared A. Anderson, Kristine F. Andersen, Rachael A. Heimerman, Megan M. Larson, Michelle R. Freeman, Sarah E. Baker

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drpoojachhawcharia View All →

Dr Pooja Chhawcharia is the Senior Nutritionist at eKincare with over 7 years of experience in Nutrition education, diet counseling and research. She is a Registered Dietician with the Indian Dietetic Association and Certified Diabetes Educator recognized by the International Diabetes federation . She is also interested in ancillary sciences such as Yoga and Naturopathy.

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