Whether it is freshly prepared grape juice that is instantly rejuvenating or just plucking them from the bunch and enjoying them, grapes are a popular summer fruit worldwide. You would be shocked to know that over 10,000 varieties of grapes are grown worldwide!
Grapes are a timeless fruit that has been grown for centuries. Naturally high in fructose, grapes are a popular horticultural crop loaded with other nutrients like retinol, vitamin C, and phosphorus while being low in fat, cholesterol and sodium. Another nutrient that makes the grape popular is the presence of resveratrol– a potent antioxidant.
While grapes are sweet, tangy and versatile, are grapes good for a diabetes control plan? Do grapes increase blood sugar levels? Let’s find out!
Nutritional Profile of Grapes
To understand how healthy they are for us, here’s a look at the nutritional value of grapes:
** Four varieties of grapes commonly found in India have been considered.
- Carbohydrate – 11.8 g to 20.48 g
- Fat- 0.26 g to 0.46 g
- Fibre – 1.15 g to 1.64 g
- Magnesium- 6.87 mg to 11.29 mg
- Potassium – 166 mg to 237 mg
- Total free sugars- 9.19 mg to 10.88 g
(Data from IFCT 2017)
Health Benefits of Eating Grapes
As we now know, grapes are a storehouse of nutrients. Red grapes are one of the richer sources of resveratrol, known to provide strong antioxidant properties. Along with other nutrients, here are some health benefits of eating grapes:
1) Relieve constipation
Grapes have a high water and fibre content. This ensures your bowel movements are regular and may help reduce constipation.
2) Reduce allergy symptoms
Some studies state that eating grapes may help reduce the symptoms of allergies, such as runny nose, hives, and watery eyes.
3) Good for your eyes
Antioxidants are good for your eyes. They neutralise free radicals and may prevent conditions like cataracts. Resveratrol in grapes may also protect your eye from degenerative diseases like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
The antioxidant properties of resveratrol in grapes may prevent conditions that lead to cancer.
5) Heart health
By lowering blood vessel damage from low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, resveratrol may help prevent atherosclerosis and other vascular diseases. Together with their high fibre content, grape antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that help grapes lower their risk of developing heart disease.
6) Blood pressure
Grapes are loaded with potassium and are low in sodium. This makes them an excellent food for lowering blood pressure. The fibre content in grapes also helps check your blood pressure levels.
Are there health benefits of eating grapes for diabetes? There may be! The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people with diabetes may eat grapes but combine them with alternative foods that are lower in carbs. The aim is to balance the overall carbohydrate consumption in each meal.
As a result of the fibre and vitamins they contain, grapes have advantages for diabetics. But you should check your blood sugar after eating grapes to make sure they’re okay for you if you have diabetes or are at risk of getting it.
Talk to a nutrition expert before eating grapes if you have diabetes or might get it.
Do Grapes Increase Blood Sugar Levels?
Grapes’ glycemic index depends upon the variety of the fruit. Grapes are considered moderate GI food with a glycemic index (GI) between 45 to 56. Red grapes have a GI of 45, which makes them the healthier of the various varieties of grapes for people with diabetes and prediabetes
Due to their moderate GI and high fiber content, grapes shouldn’t affect blood sugar levels. You should exercise caution when eating them if you have diabetes or prediabetes due to their high carbohydrate content and slightly higher levels of free sugar. A dietitian should be checked prior to you doing this.
Are Grapes Good For Diabetes?
So, if you are still wondering – Are grapes good for diabetes patients? The answer lies in factors like the type of grapes, your blood sugar levels, and how your body reacts to the fruit.
Some studies have shown that grapes’ resveratrol helps regulate blood sugar and improves carbohydrate metabolism.
Only fresh, unprocessed grapes with these qualities can be eaten.
Its important to talk to a nutritionist about how many grapes a person with diabetes can consume each day.
Grapes are some of the most healthy fruits, and their sheer popularity across the globe speaks volumes about their healthy benefits.
So, to sum it up, grapes can make your blood sugar levels go higher. If you’re concerned about this, it’s a good idea to speak with a nutrition expert to see if grapes are a good fit for you.