Grapes are a much-loved fruit, not only because wine is produced from it but also for its many qualities and its sweetness. However, as we have seen in our previous article “Are grapes bad for you?” it’s its sweetness that puts it at the centre of doubts when thinking about health. Today we go more specifically by answering the questions of those who have to deal with a chronic disease: are grapes bad for diabetics?
Diabetes: what is it?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that causes hyperglycaemia, i.e. elevated blood glucose levels, due to abnormalities in the amount or function of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the use of glucose as an energy source. When this mechanism is altered, glucose builds up in the bloodstream.
This results in a difficulty in managing glucose and sugars, which must be kept below certain levels in order not to incur in more serious problems and many complications, including blindness and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes can be type 1 and type 2, of which the former represents 10% of cases, while the latter represents 90%.
Diabetes and grapes
When you have diabetes, your first need is to keep your glucose levels in check. This is why when it comes to fruit, confusion often occurs. Fruit has a high sugar content, so should it be banned? And when we talk about grapes, which is one of the sweetest fruits, is it even worse?
In reality, it is not always necessary to reason by extremes, and those who follow a diabetic diet can keep fruit in their meals. Although some fruits – such as grapes – contain a higher percentage of sugars, this does not mean eliminating them from meals in a total way. This is because the total amount of carbohydrates obtained from a given food, aka the glycemic load, is often more important than their quality, aka the glycemic index, and therefore also sugary fruit can be consumed as long as the quantities are moderated.
What is the ideal quantity of grapes to consume
Obviously, the next question is: what is the ideal quantity of grapes – and fruit in general – that a diabetic can consume? According to estimates, the right portion of fruit for a hypoglycemic diet should never contain more than 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Why grapes are not recommended for the diet of those who are diabetic
However, this means very small portions, which in the case of grapes become really ridiculous and even difficult to maintain. For this reason, even if grapes are not completely to be eliminated from their diet in case of diabetes, it is undoubtedly a fruit not recommended, together with figs, bananas and persimmons. To be preferred are undoubtedly less sugary fruits such as apples, oranges and peaches.
If you found this article interesting, keep an eye on our blog, because soon we will talk about wine and diabetes.