Raisins spike blood sugar
With my morning coffee, I read an article on how raisins ‘may even help you to maintain healthy blood glucose levels’ and it left me irritated. On the forum I frequent, grapes go under the name of sugar bombs. They are, just like raisins, an excellent treatment for hypoglycemia when they quickly drive up blood sugar levels. In other words, raisins are not something you want to eat regularly as a diabetic unless you’re looking to spike your blood sugar. Especially not as a type 2 diabetic, when fructose increases insulin resistance in the liver. The article also claims that restricting yourself from eating any sugar can lead to impulsive overeating so a healthy portion of something sweet is good for diabetics. Right.
Who writes this garbage? Someone who’s been living under a rock for the past few decades and knows nothing about diabetes. The most irritating thing about it is that this style of clickbait does really well with the search algorithms. Hence why it dominates the internet and always ends up on my newsfeed. The article’s headline claim that ‘raisins slash blood sugar levels by 23%’ is backed up by a 12-week study of 51 participants who either had raisins or processed snacks. It concluded that the raisin eaters achieved better glycemic control. Duh, who would have guessed? That raisins do better than processed snacks is hardly an argument for why type 2 diabetics should eat them.
It reminds me of another study by David Jenkins, creator of the glycemic index, where he compared two groups of type 2 diabetics – one ate nuts, and the other ate muffins. To no one’s surprise, the nut eaters achieved better glycemic control, and based on this Jenkins concluded that nuts improve glycemic control when they replace carbohydrate consumption. It’s not surprising that the muffin group didn’t hold the winning ticket. Nor is it surprising that the study was funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation and the Peanut Institute. While nuts have little effect on blood sugar compared to muffins, I’m not so sure we needed a study to figure this out. A gifted five-year-old could have guessed it.