Nutrition

A Good Raisin to go Nuts : Dry Fruits & Nuts for Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

A recent study suggests that dried fruits like dates, raisins, apricots, and sultanas are actually beneficial, have a low glycemic index, and can be included in the dietary schedule of people with diabetes. These dried fruits do not cause blood sugar spikes like other starchy foods (like white bread). Instead, they are broken down more slowly, causing a moderate increase in sugar levels and insulin than other starchy foods like white bread, which spike up your sugar levels. Besides nuts, even pumpkin, poppy, and sunflower seeds are enriched with several nutrients and healthy fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, and are considered very healthful in diabetes.

1. How can dried fruits and nuts help in diabetes?

- A research study concluded that it is recommended for diabetics to replace low glycemic index foods like dried fruits with higher glycemic index foods like bread or other grain-based snacks. Here are some benefits of these dried fruits and nuts in diabetes.

- Some studies show that frequent consumption of nuts and dried fruits may help prevent or even manage diabetes, particularly type 2. They are known for their modulatory effect on glucose and insulin metabolism. Nuts like peanuts and walnuts may significantly reduce your glucose and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) concentrations and enhance lipid metabolism.

- Dried fruits and nuts are rich in nutrients and antioxidants. They are packed with essential vitamins (vitamin E, niacin, folic acid, and/or choline), minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and/or phosphorus), and antioxidants.

- As they are rich in fiber content, they help curb your cravings and reduce the risk of indulging in unhealthy food. Eating dried fruits early morning before your exercise can help you energize enough to sustain a workout or a long walk.

- Dried fruits provide you with immense energy and greatly benefit your health.

2. What are some of the Best Nuts and Dried Fruits recommended in Diabetes?

a) Dried apricots

Delivering just a few calories and containing fewer carbs, apricots can be an excellent addition to your diabetes meal plan. They offer a high fiber content and are enriched with vitamin A.

b) Dried apples, berries, and prunes

Enriched with vitamins, fibers, and minerals, these dried fruits can add great flavor to your food without adding excess sugars.

c) Raisins and sultanas

Raisins are rich in fiber, antioxidants and are relatively low on the glycemic index. Likewise, sultanas and currents better your digestive health, regulate your blood sugar levels, help decrease inflammation and lower your blood pressure. However, don't binge on them, as they can spike your blood levels when consumed in excess quantities.

d) Walnuts

Enriched with fiber, proteins, and good fats, walnuts can energize you and help in preventing you from binging on unnecessary food. By helping you control hunger, they support your weight loss. Besides, they are enriched in alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), which helps reduce inflammation, and helps in diabetes management.

e) Almonds

Almonds are rich sources of fiber, antioxidants, and healthy fat. They are a rich source of magnesium, a vital mineral that helps regulate blood glucose levels in people with diabetes and those at risk of developing type 2 diabetics. Besides, they aid your better digestion and help maintain blood pressure.

f) Pistachios

One of the rich sources of fiber, pistachios are packed with energy and may also help lower your LDL cholesterol levels. These nutrient bundles can act as energy bars that will limit your in-between meal cravings.

g) Peanuts

Peanuts are enriched with fiber and protein content and make a great diabetes-friendly snack. They have a low glycemic load and help regulate blood sugar levels.

FAQs

1. Are dried fruits and nuts good for diabetics?

Yes, dried fruits and nuts are beneficial in diabetes. They are low on the glycemic index and are very healthy as they are packed with fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also form a great source of instant energy. However, you must be mindful of the portion size you are consuming.

2. Which dry fruits can diabetics eat?

 If you have diabetes, you can eat dry fruits like berries, pistachios, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, apricots, raisins, and  dates. However, be cautious about the quantity.

3. Are dry nuts good for diabetics?

 Yes, dry nuts and seeds are low in carbohydrates and are a great source of healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vegetable protein. Nuts like almonds and sunflower seeds are a great source of magnesium - a mineral acknowledged for maintaining glucose levels in diabetes.

4. Why is dried fruit bad for diabetics?

A dried fruit holds more amounts of sugar than frozen or fresh fruit. For instance, the sugar content of half or one-third cup of dried fruit is proportional to one cup of fruit in its natural form. That's why dried fruits like pineapple, figs, mangoes, cherries, and sweetened cranberries are considered bad for diabetes. However, you can consume limited  proportions of dried fruits mentioned above.

Bottomline

When consumed in moderate quantities, dried fruits and nuts can benefit people with diabetes in several ways. You can consume them as a mid-meal or evening snack. You can add these flavorful treats to smoothies, salad dressings, or desserts, preventing the need for any additional sugar.

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