Eating raisins three times a day may keep diabetes away
Snacking on raisins three times a day significantly lowers post-meal blood sugar levels, according to a report in Medical News Today.
The Louisville Metabolic and Atheroschlerosis Center conducted the small study of 46 adults. Participants had slight increases in glucose levels but no previous diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.
One group of participants snacked on raisins three times a day for 12 weeks, while the control group ate snacks that did not contain raisins or other fruits and vegetables.
Researchers found that snacking on raisins reduced blood glucose levels by 16 percent compared to the control group.
Raisins reduce hemoglobin A1c
The study also found that snacking on raisins reduced average hemoglobin A1c by 0.12 percent.
The hemoglobin A1c test measures your average blood glucose levels over a two- or three-month period. It helps determine if you have prediabetes or diabetes by giving you a good idea of your blood glucose control.
The A1c test helps a person manage diabetes by confirming self-testing results or blood tests by the doctor. It also helps you assess whether your treatment plan is working. Finally, it can help reveal how healthy lifestyle choices can improve diabetes control, says the American Diabetes Association.
Low glycemic index
According to the article, raisins contribute to blood sugar control because they have a low glycemic index compared to other foods and contain fiber and antioxidants.
The glycemic index measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose. A food with a high glycemic index raises blood sugar more than a food with a low glycemic index.
According to the American Diabetes Association, carbohydrate-containing foods with a low glycemic index include dried beans and legumes, non-starchy vegetables and some starchy vegetables, most fruit, and many whole grain breads and cereals.
Meats and fats don't have a glycemic index because they do not contain carbohydrates.
For most people with diabetes, carbohydrate counting is a core tool for managing blood glucose, along with regular exercise and diabetes medication.
The American Diabetes Association says research has found that both the amount and type of carbohydrate in food affect blood glucose levels.
The group also says that the total amount of carbohydrate in food is a stronger predictor of blood glucose response than the glycemic index.
Sources: Medical News Today, American Diabetes Association