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Raisin And Diabetes: Are They Suitable In 2024?

Donald Romeo

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

raisin and diabetes
Naturally sweet and diabetes-friendly: Raisins, a nutritious snack option.

Managing diabetes requires careful attention to food choices, especially regarding carbohydrates and sugars. Can people with diabetes eat raisins? This article will explore whether individuals with diabetes can include raisins in their diet and provide insights into the nutritional facts, glycemic index, and potential benefits. 

By understanding the impact of diabetes and raisins on glycemic response, individuals can make informed decisions while adding raisins to their dietary plan.

Can People With Diabetes Eat Raisins?

Yes, people with diabetes can eat raisins.

  • Raisins can be included in a balanced diabetes diet.
  • They offer dietary fiber and essential nutrients.
  • Raisins have a moderate glycemic index, helping regulate blood sugar levels.
  • The fiber content slows down sugar absorption, preventing blood sugar spikes.
  • Raisins provide potential cardiovascular support and antioxidants.
  • Portion control and monitoring individual blood sugar responses are essential.

Raisins Nutrition Facts

Raisins[1] are nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed as part of a diabetes diet. 

Two tablespoons of raisins, about 28 grams, typically provide the following nutritional facts:

  • Calories: 84
  • Total Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Sodium: 2 milligrams
  • Potassium: 212 milligrams
  • Total Carbohydrates: 22 grams
    • Dietary Fiber: 1.6 grams
    • Sugars: 18 grams
  • Protein: 0.9 grams

Despite their small size, raisins are packed with dietary fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals.[2] 

Raisins contain natural sugars, which can affect blood sugar levels. However, the glycemic index[3] of raisins is low to moderate, rating around 43-53 on a scale of 1-100, meaning they gradually impact blood glucose.

The fiber content in raisins slows down the digestion and absorption of sugars, contributing to better blood sugar control. Additionally, the antioxidants in raisins offer potential health benefits,[3] such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Can People With Diabetes Eat Grapes?

Grapes are another fruit individuals with diabetes may wonder about. Similar to raisins, grapes contain natural sugars and carbohydrates. While moderation is essential, individuals with diabetes can include grapes in a balanced diet. 

The glycemic index of grapes varies depending on the variety, but they generally fall into the low to moderate range. To learn more about the relationship between grapes and diabetes, visit Grapes and Diabetes at Health Canal.

Glycemic Index Of Raisins

The glycemic index measures the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar levels.[4] The GI of raisins ranges between 43 and 53. This moderate GI is partly due to dietary fiber, which slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. As a result, raisins have a more gradual impact on blood glucose levels compared to high-GI foods.

Including foods with a moderate GI, like raisins, in a diabetes diet can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. It’s important to note that individual responses to raisins may vary, so monitoring blood sugar levels when incorporating them into your diet is advisable. To learn more about glycemic index and its implications, visit glycemic index.

Are Raisins Good For Diabetes?

A diabetes diet can benefit from including raisins if you use portion control. The dietary fiber[5] that raisins provide slows down the absorption of sugars, preventing rapid blood sugar spikes. 

Additionally, raisins contain essential vitamins, natural sugar, minerals, and antioxidants contributing to overall health. Two tablespoons of raisins can be beneficial for individuals experiencing hypoglycemia.[6]

The health benefits of eating raisins include potential cardiovascular benefits,[7] as antioxidants may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

Including raisins in a well-balanced diabetes diet can offer a nutritious and enjoyable snack option. There are many benefits of raisins when included in your diabetes meal plan.

How To Include Raisins In A Diabetes Diet

When you add raisins to a diabetes diet,[8] it requires mindful consideration of portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake. Here are some tips for including raisins in a diabetes-friendly manner:

Portion Control

It’s essential to limit the portion size of raisins to avoid excessive carbohydrate intake. A suitable portion might be around two tablespoons or a small handful, depending on individual dietary needs and blood sugar management.

Balanced Meals

Including raisins as part of a balanced meal plan that contains other macronutrients, such as protein and healthy fats, can help mitigate the impact on blood sugar levels. This combination slows down the absorption of carbohydrates and promotes better blood sugar control.

Snack Pairing

Pairing raisins with fat-rich or protein-rich foods, such as a handful of nuts, can help further slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream. This combination provides sustained energy and supports blood sugar stability.

Mindful Snacking

Pre-portion raisins into small snack bags to control portion sizes when consuming raisins as a snack. This can help prevent overconsumption and manage carbohydrate intake effectively.

In addition to raisins, maintaining a healthy diet with suitable snack options is essential for individuals with diabetes. Raisins make excellent snacks for diabetes. By incorporating nutritious snacks into their routine, individuals with diabetes can support their overall health and blood sugar management.

Risks & Warnings

Several risks may arise while incorporating raisins into your diet if you have diabetes. It’s essential to be aware of a few considerations:

Blood Sugar Levels

Raisins contain natural sugars and carbohydrates, which can raise blood sugar levels. Monitoring blood glucose levels and practicing portion control is essential for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrate Content

Raisins are relatively high in carbohydrates. Individuals with diabetes should factor in the carbohydrate content of raisins when planning meals and snacks to avoid exceeding daily carbohydrate goals.

Impact On Blood Sugar Control

While the fiber in raisins helps regulate blood sugar levels, individual responses may vary. Monitoring blood sugar levels after consuming raisins is important to understand how they affect blood glucose as individual variations may occur.

Nutrient Balance

While raisins offer some health benefits, they should be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, including fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

Portion Control

By practicing portion control, monitoring blood sugar levels, and maintaining a balanced diet, individuals with diabetes can incorporate raisins into their meal plans while effectively managing blood sugar. Including nutrient-dense options like raisins provides essential vitamins and minerals. 

Those with diabetes who need more protein may consider using Orgain Protein Powder. Individuals with diabetes can benefit from various nutrients and vitamins that support a healthy, balanced diet. These essential elements contribute to overall well-being and a healthy lifestyle.

The Takeaway

Individuals with diabetes can consume raisins as part of a balanced diet, considering portion control, carbohydrate content, and overall dietary balance. 

Raisins offer essential nutrients, dietary fiber, and potential health benefits, including cardiovascular support. Make sure to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables into your meal plan for diabetes. 

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice regarding your diabetes management and dietary needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a person with diabetes eat raisins daily?

Individuals with diabetes can include raisins in their diet, but it’s important to practice portion control and consider overall carbohydrate intake. Moderation is the key in managing blood sugar levels effectively.

Can people with diabetes eat grapes?

Individuals with diabetes can enjoy grapes as part of a balanced diet considering portion control and GI effects.

Do raisins raise blood sugar levels?

While raisins contain natural sugars and carbohydrates, their medium glycemic index and fiber content may help prevent unexpected spikes when consumed in proper portions. Additionally, raisins can safely increase blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes experiencing low blood sugar.

Who shouldn’t eat raisins?

Individuals with specific dietary restrictions or medical conditions, such as allergies or conditions requiring carbohydrate-restricted diets, should consult their healthcare provider before including raisins.

What are the health benefits of raisins?

Raisins offer dietary fiber, essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They may provide cardiovascular benefits and support overall health. An added benefit is they don’t contain any saturated fats, which are cardiovascular risk factors.

How do raisins affect blood sugar levels?

The fiber content in raisins slows down the digestion and absorption of sugars, resulting in a slower and more controlled rise in blood sugar levels.

Can raisins help with blood sugar control?

Due to their moderate glycemic index and fiber content, raisins can be included in a diabetes diet to help regulate blood sugar levels. Portion control and individualized carbohydrate management are essential.

Can adding raisins to a diabetes diet help with glycemic control?

Including raisins as part of a balanced diabetes diet and other healthy food choices can contribute to improved glycemic control. Individual responses to raisin consumption may vary, and practicing portion control is essential in managing blood sugar levels effectively.


+ 8 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Usda.gov. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168165/nutrients
  2. Fulgoni, V.L., Painter, J. and Carughi, A. (2018). Association of raisin and raisin-containing food consumption with nutrient intake and diet quality in US children: NHANES 2001-2012. [online] 6(8), pp.2162–2169. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/fsn3.780.
  3. Olmo-Cunillera, A., Escobar-Avello, D., Pérez, A.J., María Marhuenda-Muñoz, Lamuela-Raventós, R.M. and Vallverdú-Queralt, A. (2019). Is Eating Raisins Healthy? [online] 12(1), pp.54–54. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010054.
  4. Esfahani, A., Lam, J. and Cyril W.C. Kendall (2014). Acute effects of raisin consumption on glucose and insulin reponses in healthy individuals. [online] 3. doi:https://doi.org/10.1017/jns.2013.33.
  5. Reynolds, A.G., Akerman, A.P. and Mann, J. (2020). Dietary fibre and whole grains in diabetes management: Systematic review and meta-analyses. [online] 17(3), pp.e1003053–e1003053. doi:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1003053.
  6. Health, U. (2021). Treating Low Blood Sugar. [online] ucsfhealth.org. Available at: https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/treating-low-blood-sugar
  7. Schuster, M., Wang, X., Hawkins, T. and Painter, J. (2017). A Comprehensive review of raisins and raisin components and their relationship to human health. [online] 50(3), pp.203–203. doi:https://doi.org/10.4163/jnh.2017.50.3.203.
  8. Diabetes.org. (2023). Recipes & Nutrition | ADA. [online] Available at: https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition
Donald Romeo

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Donald Romeo is a highly skilled health and wellness writer and a dedicated nutritional researcher. His expertise unravels the intricate connections between nutrition, holistic health, and well-being. With an astute understanding of nutritional science and a talent for translating complex concepts into accessible content, Donald brings valuable insights to his readers. He is committed to empowering individuals by providing practical and evidence-based advice to support their wellness journey. Through his engaging articles, Donald inspires readers to make informed choices, adopt healthier habits, and embrace a holistic approach to their overall vitality.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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