Last updated on March 13th, 2023
People with diabetes often puzzle about their food choices. Their major concern is rising blood sugar levels. Diabetes has become one of the most spread epidemics of the current time. Adults and kids are the centers of this metabolic disorder.
Like many other fruits and nuts, raisins are also a questionable food for diabetics whether to eat or avoid. Can diabetics eat raisins? The answer is yes!
It is a nutrient-rich and high-fiber dried nut that can help lower sugar levels but moderation is the key. Let’s read about the impact of raisins on diabetes in this blog.
What are Raisins?
Dried grapes are known as raisins. Raisins are called kishmish (or daakh) in Hindi. They are rich in nutrients as they are concentrated. Raisins are grown in different regions of the world.
These small dried nuts are used in various cooking methods like baking, brewing, garnishing, salads, etc. They come in different forms like red, green, black, golden raisins, currants, and sultanas. They are either sun-dried or dried in a food dehydrator.
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Types of Raisins
These are Turkish seedless green grapes. They are bigger and have a tangy flavor. They are dark brown and reddish and made by dehydrating Thompson seedless grapes.
They are sun-dried green grapes that keep their color intact during transforming into raisins. They look exactly like fresh green grapes but with more concentrated nutrition.
These are sour in taste and dark in color. These are small in size and formed from seedless black Corinth grapes. They are majorly produced in Greece along with Australia, South Africa, and California.
They are fruity and acidic in taste and have more moisture. They are dried with sulfur dioxide gas so they maintain their golden color.
They are sweet in taste and are dried red-skinned seedless grapes. They are rich in fiber and iron.
They are sun-dried or artificially dried seedless Thompson grapes. They are black in color.
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Nutritional Profile of Raisin
Raisins are a powerhouse of nutrients. They are rich in antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B, and fiber. They have natural sugar but due to their high nutrients, it has more benefits. They are also cholesterol free and fat-free. Let’s know the nutritional values of 100 grams of raisins:
- Calories: 299 kcal
- Carbohydrate: 79 grams
- Dietary fiber: 3.7 grams
- Protein: 3.1 gram
- Potassium: 749 mg
- Sugar: 59 grams
- Iron: 10% of DV
- Vitamin C: 3% OF DV
- Vitamin B6: 10% OF DV
- Magnesium: 8% of DV
- Calcium: 5% of DV
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Glycemic Index of Raisins
Raisin is a medium glycemic index food. Its glycemic index or GI is 66. The glycemic index of a food determines how fast carbohydrates or glucose are absorbed in the blood.
A medium glycemic index does not spike sugar levels as fast as high GI food.
To get good benefits from raisins, keep the quantity in mind. The right portion can provide maximum nutrients without affecting blood sugar levels.
Raisins and Diabetes
Raisins have 60% of sugar, fructose, and glucose so many diabetic people think it as a wrong food choice but it is a myth. Raisins are high in fiber from 3.3 to 4.5 grams per 100 grams. A high-fiber food helps to manage blood sugar levels in the body.
Fiber slows the absorption of glucose from food so it releases sugar slowly in the blood, thus keeping the sugar level in check. Dietary fiber also curbs food cravings and supports weight loss.
Raisins are also high in antioxidants that help in managing diabetes. Antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetin, catechin, and procyanidins help to control sugar levels. Flavonoids also reduce the development of type 2 diabetes. It reduces insulin resistance and oxidative stress.
Another compound anthocyanin also aids diabetes management by reducing insulin resistance and HbA1C. So, these properties of raisins make them a good choice for diabetic patients.
All one needs to do is monitor the portion size of raisins. 2 spoons of raisins are a healthy quantity to add to your diet to get nutrients without the fear of sugar spikes.
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Other Health Benefits of Raisins
Raisins are full of nutrients and provide multiple health benefits. They are a good choice for diabetes but other than that these small morsels help in strengthening various body organs and their functions. Let’s read about the multiple health benefits of raisins:
Good for the Digestive System
Raisins are laxative and rich in fiber thus helping in digestion. It keeps bowel movement healthy and reduces constipation. Having them soaked in water overnight provides ease in acidity, bloating, and acid reflux.
Helps maintain blood pressure
Raisins are high in potassium which is essential to regulate blood pressure. Potassium also balances out the sodium content in the body as it is a low-sodium food.
Supports bone health
Raisins’ 100-gram quantity contains 5% of calcium which is an essential nutrient to strengthen bone health and bone density. To achieve good bone health, boron is another component that is found in raisins. These nutrients are better absorbed from soaked raisins.
Helps in weight loss
Raisins are high-fiber food that helps to control weight. Fiber slows digestion and keeps you full for a longer time and curbs your hunger pangs. Raisins are also a low-calorie food that helps those who are looking for weight loss.
Raisins are magical for eye health. It contains vitamin A, beta carotene, and A-Caretenoid that strengthens eye health and reduces risks of weak eyesight, muscular degeneration, and cataract.
This is a high-nutrient food that increases immunity. It is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and iron. These essential nutrients empower the body to fight against various infections. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that cease various infections and provides a shield to the body.
Good for Heart Health
Raisins are known to increase good cholesterol in the body and reduce bad cholesterol. This helps to increase heart health and reduces the risks of various cardiovascular diseases. It also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis by reducing blood accumulation from the vessels and providing a smooth passage to blood circulation.
Good for hemoglobin
People who suffer from anemia should add raisins to their diet. Raisins are high in iron, vitamins, minerals, copper with other essential nutrients. These nutrients, especially iron, and copper help the body to form more RBCs (red blood cells) that treat anemia and increase hemoglobin levels.
Strengthens teeth health
These little morsels help in preventing tooth decay, cavities, infections, etc. They help with oral health. Calcium, boron, and oleanolic acid present in raisins support teeth health and promote whitening.
Supports reproductive health in men
Raisins are full of energy and help men’s reproductive health via various means. It helps in erectile dysfunction, sperm motility, and infertility.
Raisins are high-calorie food that provides energy and acts as an energy booster. Its nutritional profile also helps to increase energy levels in the body.
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Ways to eat Raisins
These small golden magic can be used in various ways to add to your diet. You can get its nutrients in multiple ways.
- As soaked raisins every morning
- Add to your Salads
- Mix them in your oatmeal to increase taste and nutritional value
- Add raisins to yogurt
- Roast them lightly and can eat them as snacks
- Make granola with various seeds, nuts, and fruits, and add them to yogurt.
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Side effects of Raisins
Although raisins are safe to consume it may have some side effects for some people:
- They are high in fiber so make sure to keep their quantity in moderation as excess fiber can cause gas, bloating, or discomfort.
- They can cause kidney stones if consumed in higher quantities so keep them in your mind.
- They are a high-calorie food so excess amounts can cause weight gain. So do not binge eat raisins instead have them in moderation.
- Raisins are cultivated and stored with an increased amount of pesticides so they can cause harm to your overall health. It can also increase the risk of developing cancer due to chemical presence. So, try to eat organically produced and stored raisins.
As mentioned above, raisins are the powerhouse of nutrients with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, they provide various health benefits. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that aid in overall health.
It is a medium GI food with an abundance of fiber which makes it a good choice for diabetic people. They can enjoy its sweet taste without worrying about their sugar spikes.
It also provides nutrition to diabetic people. Although, quantity plays a major role here. An adequate amount of raisins can create magic in your health without putting any health risks.
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Why are soaked raisins good for health?
Soaked raisins have more available bioactive nutrients than unsoaked raisins. It is also easy to absorb nutrients and digest.
How many raisins are good for a diabetic patient?
Raisins have 60% sugar but they are high in fiber and other nutrients so they are a good food choice for diabetics. Although quantity is essential, having two spoon raisins provides an abundance of health benefits to diabetic people. It is also a medium GI food that does not impact blood sugar levels that much.
How often can I eat raisins?
Raisins are full of energy and can be eaten anytime in the day. You can add them to your different foods and can do “snacking” the whole day. It’s better to have them post meals to promote digestion and nutrient absorption.
What are the side effects of raisins if I eat them every day?
Raisins are high in fiber and they can affect your digestive system. Excess fiber can create a disturbed stomach like bloating, gas, upset stomach, etc. So have them in moderation.
https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/diabetes-raisins#raisin-nutritionLast Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.