Type 2 diabetes stems from a dysfunction in the way the body processes insulin. The pancreas normally releases insulin to regulate blood sugar levels in the body. However, insulin production is hampered if you have type 2 diabetes, which causes blood sugar levels to rise. Unregulated blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on the body so you must find alternative means of policing it if you have type 2 diabetes.
The threat of rising blood sugar levels is most acute after eating because as you digest food in your stomach, blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels rise sharply.
Fortunately, some foods actually counter high blood sugar levels within minutes of consuming them.
Research suggests raisins produce this effect. That’s the conclusion of a study published in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine.
The 12-week randomised study evaluated the impact of routine consumption of dark raisins versus alternative processed snacks on glucose levels in 51 study participants with type 2 diabetes.
READ MORE: Diabetes type 2: The 10p snack that drastically lowers high blood sugar levels by 50%
In this study, compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins had a significant 23 percent reduction in postprandial glucose levels.
Postprandial means after a meal. This test is done to see how your body responds to sugar and starch after you eat a meal.
The test is conducted within two hours of eating, implying raisins lowered the blood sugar levels of participants within 120 minutes of consumption.
Also compared to snacks, those who consumed raisins had a 19 percent reduction in fasting glucose and 0.12 percent reduction in haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), although these latter findings did not achieve “statistical significance”, the researchers wrote.
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Fasting glucose is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels after an eight to 10 hours fast and HbA1c is your average blood glucose (sugar) levels for the last two to three months.
What’s more, compared to alternative processed snacks, those who consumed raisins saw a significant drop in their blood pressure reading.
“Overall, these data support raisins as a healthy alternative compared to processed snacks in patients with T2DM [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers concluded.
The blood sugar-lowering effect of eating raisins is not surprising.
The dried fruit ranks low on the glycaemic index (GI) – a rating scale used to determine how any particular carbohydrate impacts a person’s blood sugar.
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time.
- They include:
- Some fruit and vegetables
- Whole grain foods, such as porridge oats.
What’s more, low GI foods, which cause your blood sugar levels to rise and fall slowly, may help you feel fuller for longer, notes the NHS.
“This could help control your appetite and may be useful if you’re trying to lose weight.”
Type 2 diabetes – symptoms to spot
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.