Grapes: Good or Bad for Diabetes?

This is a common question I get a lot from people with diabetes.

grapes

Many people have been told grapes are too high in sugar and if you have diabetes you should not eat them.

Grapes are actually very heart healthy and have a low glycemic index, in the 43-53 range. One serving is about 15-20 grapes, a small handful. The equal amount of carbohydrate in grape juice would be about 1/3 cup.

More Health Benefits of Grapes

  • Resveratrol: grapes have more than any other food and it may help prevent damage to blood vessels.
  • Manganese, vitamin K and potassium: grapes are a good source of these nutrients and 19 different phytonutrients.
  • Helps control blood pressure: the flavonoids in grapes help keep arteries elastic so they can expand when needed for increased blood flow.
  • Helps lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) by slowing LDL oxidation: LDL sticks to the walls of veins and arteries when it gets oxidized. This leads to inflammation and plaque, which narrows the blood vessels and increases the chance of heart attack or stroke.
  • Decreases activity of platelets, which are responsible for clotting. If platelets are too active it can cause clots to form inside blood vessels and lead to heart attacks.
  • Helps the release of nitric oxide, which is also helpful in preventing neuropathy, the nerve damage that causes numbness and pain in feet and hands.

Concord grape juice is also great for heart health and you can even make your own flavored water by diluting the juice. This can be a healthy alternative to regular or diet soda. (Just be sure you are buying 100% grape juice).

Of course if you are on certain medications you don’t want to interfere with levels of vitamin K or potassium so always check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions.