Grapes for diabetes: To eat or not to eat

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Are grapes the forbidden fruit for people with diabetes, or can they be the sweet escape from boring dietary restrictions? Let’s grapevine our way into this discussion and find out if grapes are a fruitful addition to a diabetic’s diet. In this article, we will explore the benefits and risks of eating grapes for people with diabetes.

Nutritional value of grapes

There are different types of grapes such as red, green, black and white varieties of grapes typically found locally. One important note is that all grapes contain almost similar nutritional value.

Snehal Ghorpade, Senior dietitian, Ruby Hall Clinic explains that Hypoglycemic index is used to evaluate the rise in blood glucose level in response to food. The GI provides an indication of the quality of carbohydrates in food. The glycemic load is used to provide information about the quantity of carbohydrates in a food and the insulin demand. “Individuals with diabetes type 2 are advised to maintain a diet with low glycemic load to maintain blood sugar level,” says Ghorpade.

Grapes can help maintain blood sugar levels! Image courtesy: freepik

Here is the nutritional composition of grapes as told by the dietician. 100 grams of grapes contain following nutritional values:

* Energy: 69 kcals
* Carbohydrates: 18.1 gms
* Dietary Fiber: 0.9 gms
* Fat: 0.16 gms
* Protein: 0.72 gms

Do grapes raise blood sugar levels?

Grapes contain a variety of nutrients that can be beneficial for people with diabetes. They are low in calories and high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and promote satiety. Additionally, grapes are a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as minerals like potassium and magnesium.

One of the most important nutrients found in grapes is resveratrol, a polyphenol that has been shown to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Resveratrol may also improve insulin sensitivity and glucose uptake, which can help lower blood sugar levels.

Ghorpade told Healthydailytips that grapes have a medium glycemic index that is 56 and at 9.6, its glycemic load is in the low range. Grapes contain numerous polyphenols that have shown potential for reducing hyperglycemia and improving beta cell function. Polyphenols are found in all types of grapes. “It could be one dietary therapy for prevention and management of type 2 diabetes. Therefore with medium glycemic index and low glycemic load grapes may provide health benefits to type 2 diabetes,” says Ghorpade.

So yes, eating grapes in moderation, but not along with any meal, is perfectly safe for type 2 diabetes.

Risks of grapes for diabetes

While grapes can be beneficial for people with diabetes, there are also some potential risks to consider. Grapes are high in natural sugars, specifically fructose, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise if consumed in excess. Dried grapes, also known as raisins, have a higher sugar content and should be avoided.

Additionally, some people may be allergic to grapes or have an intolerance to their natural sugars, which can cause gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea. It is important to pay attention to your body’s response when consuming grapes and consult with a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse effects.

Diabetics should eat grapes in moderation. Image courtesy: freepik

How many grapes can a diabetic eat per day?

According to the dietician, a diabetic person can eat grapes everyday but the recommended serving size for diabetics is 15 small grapes (1/2 cup) which provides 14 grams of carbohydrates and 58 calories, 1 gram of protein and fiber, along with other vitamins and minerals.

Grapes of which colour are best for diabetics?

Nowadays, various factors influence the glycemic index of grapes. These include how ripe they are, the variety and whether they are processed in any way. “Choosing a variety of different coloured grapes at a particular season, that is summer, with recommended serving size, is advisable for diabetic people,” says Ghorpade.

Which grapes are healthiest for diabetics? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Also read: Green, black or red grapes: Know which is the healthiest of them all

Grapes can be a healthy and nutritious addition to a diabetic diet when consumed in moderation. However, people with diabetes should be aware of the potential risks associated with consuming grapes, specifically their natural sugar content. It is important to incorporate grapes as part of a well-balanced meal plan and monitor blood sugar levels accordingly.

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