As type 2 diabetes continues to increase among all demographics, researchers continue to hunt for diabetic-friendly foods and beverages, given that food, as well as exercise, has varying effects on glucose levels of patients with type 2 diabetes. In a new 12-week randomized study, researchers evaluated the impact of routinely eating dark raisins versus alternative processed snacks on glucose levels and other cardiovascular risk factors among 51 patients with type 2 diabetes (Phys Sportsmed. 2015;43(1):37-43).
Compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins had a significant 23-percent reduction in postprandial glucose levels. Also compared to snacks, those who consumed raisins had a 19-percent reduction in fasting glucose and 0.12-percent reduction in hemoglobin A1c, although these latter findings did not achieve statistical significance. Regarding blood pressure, compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins had a significant 8.7 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure but did not experience a significant reduction in diastolic blood pressure. Compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins did not have a significant improvement in body weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, fasting insulin, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), triglyceride or non-HDL cholesterol levels. Overall, these data support raisins as a healthy alternative compare to processed snacks in patients with type 2 diabetes.