(BPT) - Research highlighted at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Scientific Sessions suggests California Raisins - an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun, no-sugar-added fruit - can positively affect glucose levels and systolic blood pressure among people with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).
'Raisins are excellent food choices for most individuals, including those with Type 2 diabetes mellitus,' said James W. Anderson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Emeritus, University of Kentucky.
In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control reported that more than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes, and 86 million are living with prediabetes, a serious health condition that increases a person's risk of Type 2 diabetes mellitus and other chronic diseases.
Given the magnitude of the diabetes problem, and knowing that the nutritional quality of foods is one factor that influences glucose levels and cardiovascular disease risk among patients with T2DM, a first-of-its-kind study was conducted with California Raisins and patients with T2DM.
This 12-week study among 51 individuals with T2DM found that regular consumption of raisins - as compared to a variety of popular snacks - positively impacted both glucose levels and systolic blood pressure. The research, published in The Physician and Sportsmedicine journal, revealed study participants who consumed 1 ounce of raisins three times a day for the duration of the study, as compared to a group that ate a comparable amount of popular snacks, were shown to have:
* A 23 percent reduction in postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels
* A 19 percent reduction in fasting glucose
* A significant reduction (8.7 mmHg) in systolic blood pressure
These findings build on an earlier study where 46 men and women with pre-hypertension were randomly assigned to snack on raisins or snacks that did not contain raisins or other fruits or vegetables, three times a day for 12 weeks. The results indicated that eating raisins three times per day:
* May significantly lower blood pressure among individuals with pre-hypertension when compared to other popular snacks.
* May significantly lower postprandial (post-meal) glucose levels when compared to other popular snacks of equal caloric value.
Both studies were conducted at the Louisville Metabolic and Atherosclerotic Research Center (L-MARC) by Harold Bays, MD, medical director and president of L-MARC and funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board.
'With California Raisins, the ingredient list says it all: Raisins. They're made for healthy snacking and it's easy to whip up delicious, diabetes-friendly dishes with raisins, too - like my recipe for California Raisin Walnut Banana Oatmeal Cups. Bake a batch of these simple, no-sugar-added oatmeal cups on the weekends, and you'll have breakfast or snacks all week long,' says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, a nutrition consultant, author and mother of three.
California Raisin Walnut Banana Oatmeal Cups
Recipe created by Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD
Makes 16 servings.
3 cups oats, uncooked
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
3 ripe medium bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup California Raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the mashed bananas, oil, eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. Whisk in the milk.
4. Pour the banana mixture into the oats mixture. Add the California Raisins. Stir well to combine. The batter has a lot of liquid in it, so don't worry if it looks soupy.
5. Fill the muffin cups nearly to the top with batter (1/4 cup full).
6. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack for 5 minutes, with the muffins still in the pan. Remove the muffins from the pan and allow them to cool on the wire rack. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
Per serving: Calories: 169, Carbohydrate: 22 grams, Fiber: 3 grams, Protein: 5 grams, Fat: 8 grams, Saturated fat: 1 gram, Cholesterol: 28 milligrams, Sodium: 157 milligrams, Calcium: 90 milligrams.
Visit www.calraisins.org for more diabetes-friendly recipes and information about both studies.