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Do Grapes Raise Blood Sugar Levels?

June 15, 2022
Written by
Team NutriSense

Grapes have been grown since as early as 6500 BC, and from table grapes to raisins, jams, wine, grape juice, and grape seed oil, there are countless ways to incorporate grapes into your diet.

As of 2022, a whopping 72 million tons of grapes are now produced annually, meaning that this versatile and popular fruit is very likely to show up in your diet from time to time.

As carbohydrates, grapes are a great energy source and contain antioxidants and micronutrients. However, while grapes can pose a problem for people with diabetes due to their high sugar content, you might be surprised to learn that grapes have a low glycemic index, or low GI, which lowers their blood glucose impact.

So, are grapes safe for people with diabetes to include in their diet? Do they raise your blood sugar levels, lower them, or have no significant effect on them at all? Read on to find out.

Types of Grapes

You may be familiar with the red, green, black, and white varieties of table grapes you’d typically find in your local grocery store. 

But there are over 10,000 types of grapes grown worldwide and used to make everything from wine to jam.

Table grapes tend to be larger and less acidic than wine grapes, which contain lots of seeds and are cultivated to be sweeter.

Despite their different flavors, all grapes are low in calories, with about 30 calories per half cup of grapes. From wine favorites chardonnay, merlot, riesling, and pinot noir varieties to common vine and concord, here are some of the most popular types:

a chart showing 9 different types of grapes
  • Concord
  • Common vine
  • Candice
  • Cotton candy
  • Red globe
  • Chardonnay
  • Merlot
  • Riesling
  • Pinot noir

Grapes and Blood Sugar Levels

If you’re watching your sugar intake, grapes might be something you’ve hesitated to add to your diet because of their high sugar content and lack of protein and fat. The sugar in grapes is made up of glucose and fructose, which are quickly digested by the body.

Due to their sugar content, you might be surprised to learn that grapes also have a low GI, meaning that some diabetes diets may be able to include them safely due to their low glycemic load.

Besides their low GI content, red grapes also have polyphenols, including resveratrol, quercetin, catechins, and anthocyanins. These compounds have been observed to potentially reduce hyperglycemia or high blood sugar and may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

Although evidence has shown that grapes are safe for people with diabetes to eat, it’s essential to consume them in moderation and watch your portion sizes.

Some Health Benefits of Grapes

a bunch of green grapes

As a fruit, grapes possess many health benefits that can be great to include as part of a balanced diet.

One important thing to note is that while all grapes contain similar nutritional value, red and other darkly colored fruits have been found to contain more flavonoids and phytonutrients than white grapes.

Some types of grapes, like concord or red grapes, may contain a higher antioxidant content.

Grapes Have Antioxidants and Phytonutrients

Berries and other whole fruits that are dark in color, such as blueberries, are typically high in antioxidants and other disease-fighting micronutrients, and red grapes are no exception.

Many varieties of grapes may be helpful in preventing diseases induced by oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer due to the flavonoids they contain. In addition to their high antioxidant content, grapes have been found to have anti-inflammatory qualities. 

You May Experience a Reduced Risk of Heart Disease

The flavonoids and resveratrol found in red grapes may aid in preventing heart disease and reducing the risk of high blood pressure and respiratory diseases.

A study found that polyphenols in grapes may also have a positive effect on lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.

Grapes Can be Good for Brain and Bone Health

red grapes after being washed

Grapes contain micronutrients like vitamin K, magnesium, and potassium, essential for healthy bones. Some compounds found in grapes may be helpful for reducing risk factors for certain diseases, but more research is needed.

Grapes May Help Lower Insulin Resistance

Can grapes lower your risk of type 2 diabetes? There’s not enough evidence to say ‘yes’ with any certainty.

While certain compounds found in grapes may be helpful in reducing oxidative damage, which might be positive in conditions such as insulin resistance, whether or not their carbohydrate levels will be tolerated by all diabetics is questionable and requires individual assessment.

Grapes Are a Good Source of Dietary Fiber

Apart from containing healthy micronutrients, the peels of grapes are also high in fiber. Fiber is essential for feeling full and satisfied between meals and can help regulate your blood glucose levels and improve digestion. Including fiber from fruits and vegetables can also help prevent conditions like heart disease, cancer, and diverticular disease.

So, Are Grapes Safe for People with Diabetes?

a bowl of red grapes

The short answer is yes. Eating grapes is perfectly safe in moderation, even for those with diabetes. Fresh fruit can be included as part of a healthy, balanced diet, and grapes are a good source of dietary fiber and contain vitamin C, vitamin A, and copper.

Whether you have diabetes or not, including a variety of fresh and nutrient-packed fruits and vegetables as part of your daily diet is important.

Remember that adding different colored fruits and vegetables into your diet is beneficial and can help you get all those vital phytonutrients they contain.

While eating grapes is not a cure for health conditions like type 2 diabetes, they contain many compounds and micronutrients that have health benefits.

Add grapes to your meals every now and then to satisfy your sugar cravings, but keep an eye on how many you’re eating along the way.

How to Add More Grapes to Your Diet

Grapes are one of the most versatile fruits out there, and there are many creative ways to sneak some extra grapes into your meals to enjoy their health benefits.

There are a few habits you can try adopting to prevent your blood sugar from spiking while still enjoying foods you love. Eating carbohydrates on their own can lead to sharp spikes in blood sugar as the body breaks them down for energy.

However, when you combine carbs with fiber or protein sources, you slow down your digestion process, reducing blood sugar spikes.

1) Toss Grapes into a Salad or Savory Dish

Everyone loves a sweet and salty combo—including carbs with fiber, protein, and moderate fat can be helpful for some people in keeping glucose stable.

Try throwing some cut-up grapes into a chicken salad for a light, tasty meal with protein and fats, which can help slow glucose levels from rising in the blood.

2) Make a Grape Smoothie

The sweet nature of grapes makes them a great ingredient to toss into a smoothie if you’re on the go. You can also include a dairy or fat source like unsweetened Greek yogurt or nut butter to balance your glucose response and get a good serving of all macronutrients.

3) Replace Grape Jelly with Fresh Grapes

Jellies and jams might be delicious, but they can contain more than 9 grams of added sugars per tablespoon.

The next time you make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, try swapping the jelly with fresh grapes. The peanut butter, which also has a low GI, will help balance the carbohydrates in the bread.

4) Add Grapes to a Snack Platter

For a midday snack, try adding a handful of grapes to a cheese and nut plate for an extra touch of sweetness.

This healthy balance of macronutrients is a great way to get some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet, satisfy your sweet tooth, and improve glucose stability.

grapes nutritional info

Considerations When Eating Grapes

There are lots of health benefits that can come from including grapes in your diet, but there are a few considerations you might want to keep in mind.

Eating more than the recommended serving size of grapes may lead to digestion or bowel issues due to their night natural sugar content, so it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes. Some people may be sensitive to the natural sugars grapes contain, and testing different amounts to determine individual tolerance can be helpful.

The American Diabetes Association recommends people with diabetes consume 15 grams of carbohydrates from fruit per serving, which adds up to about 17 small grapes or two tablespoons of raisins.

Monitor your Blood Sugar with NutriSense

The foods we eat can hugely impact our health, so it’s essential to understand what nutrients are part of a healthy diet. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one way to understand your health better. The NutriSense CGM program is a great way to start learning about your body’s response to your diet and lifestyle.

NutriSense’s team of nutritionists and dietitians can get you on the road to a healthier you by helping you reduce blood sugar spikes and optimizing your diet, exercise, lifestyle, and sleep routines.

Don’t get stuck trying to regulate your blood sugar alone. Join the NutriSense program today to start working with a personal dietitian to learn how you can optimize your diet and achieve your health goals.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
Listen to the full podcast:
Do Grapes Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
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13 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress
13 Healthy Ways to Relieve Stress

Stress can negatively affect your entire body. Here are thirteen different ways to reduce stress in your life.

Story
12
min
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Best Physical and Mental Health Apps Available in 2022
Best Physical and Mental Health Apps Available in 2022

Here are the eleven best physical and mental health apps available in the app store.

Podcast
33
min
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Improving Metabolic Health with Carlee Hayes
Improving Metabolic Health with Carlee Hayes

On this episode of Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli, Carlee Hayes, Nutrition Manager at NutriSense, discusses the company’s digital platform that aims to help others discover and reach their health potential.

Podcast
40
min
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Carlee Hayes talks Metabolic Health with Rejuvenaging
Carlee Hayes talks Metabolic Health with Rejuvenaging

In this episode of Rejuvenaging with Dr. Ron Kaiser, Carlee explains how to cut through the online nutrition industry's noise, why we shouldn't look for a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to nutrition, and how CGMs work.

Story
6
min
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Fruit Juice or Whole Fruit? What You Should Pick and Why
Fruit Juice or Whole Fruit? What You Should Pick and Why

Should you be drinking your fruits? Read on to find out more about juicing, whole fruits, and why one may be better for you than the other.

Story
7
min
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Meet the Blood-Glucose Friendly Rambutan: What It Is and How to Eat It
Meet the Blood-Glucose Friendly Rambutan: What It Is and How to Eat It

Do you know what a rambutan is? Learn more about this blood-glucose-friendly tropical fruit and why you should add it to your diet.

Story
13
min
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Organ Meats: Should You Be Adding Them to Your Diet?
Organ Meats: Should You Be Adding Them to Your Diet?

Learn about the health benefits and risk factors of adding organ meats to your meals, and try our favorite recipes using these nutritional treasure troves. 

Story
6
min
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Five Cancer Research Developments of the Last Five Years
Five Cancer Research Developments of the Last Five Years

Read on to learn more about five of the most promising developments in cancer research.

Story
8
min
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A Quick Look at Meditation and Blood Glucose 
A Quick Look at Meditation and Blood Glucose 

Learn more about meditation, how it positively impacts blood sugar, and how you can start incorporating it into your routine.

Story
7
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Tasty, Nutritious Salads You'll Love
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Tasty, Nutritious Salads You'll Love

Salads don't have to be boring! Our Nutrition Team recommends nine delicious, nutritious salads to help you find your favorite.

Story
7
min
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Do You Need More Vitamin D?
Do You Need More Vitamin D?

Most people get the vitamin D they need from exposure to sunlight, but if you don't spend enough time outdoors, you may not be getting enough of this vital nutrient. Read our article to learn more.

Story
6
min
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Your Mother's Day Gift Guide
Your Mother's Day Gift Guide

Can't decide on the perfect gift for Mother's Day? Pick from a list of ideas to find a healthy, but still exciting gift this year.

Story
8
min
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Can Soy Really Prevent Diabetes?
Can Soy Really Prevent Diabetes?

Some research suggests that eating soy may reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Read on to learn whether that's true and find out more about the other health benefits of soy.

Story
9
min
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Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Celiac Disease
Living with Autoimmune Conditions: Celiac Disease

Did you know that 23.5 million Americans live with autoimmune conditions? Learn more about the symptoms and causes of celiac disease and what you can do about it.

Story
7
min
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Positive Thinking May Affect More Than Your Mental Health 
Positive Thinking May Affect More Than Your Mental Health 

It's no secret that positive thinking can improve your mood and help you cope with difficult situations. Review our article to see how a positive outlook may also benefit your physical health.

Story
10
min
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The Best Diet for Menstruation
The Best Diet for Menstruation

When it comes to your menstrual cycle, what you eat can significantly impact how you feel. Read on to learn more about the best foods to add to your diet to help during that time of the month.

Story
8
min
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9 Unusual Health Conditions You May Not Know About
9 Unusual Health Conditions You May Not Know About

Though most of us may never encounter these, these health conditions are still fascinating to learn more about. Read our article to find out more about nine of the most fascinating, unusual health conditions.

Story
10
min
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The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar 
The Positive Impact Weight Lifting Has on Blood Sugar 

Here is everything you need to know about the relationship between weight lifting and blood sugar.

Podcast
17
min
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Two to 80 Employees in Just Two Years
Two to 80 Employees in Just Two Years

In this 20-minute conversation, Dan shares how he’s putting a Rockstar in every seat. And mistakes to avoid along the way.

Podcast
45
min
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Understanding how Glucose Effects our Metabolic Health with Kara Collier
Understanding how Glucose Effects our Metabolic Health with Kara Collier

Kara, registered dietitian, and co-founder of NutriSense, discusses how blood glucose levels are a core marker of metabolic health. She dives into the health consequences of fluctuating blood glucose levels, and what levels to look fasted compared to post-meal.

Podcast
57
min
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Using Real-Time Data to Improve Metabolic Health with Kara Collier
Using Real-Time Data to Improve Metabolic Health with Kara Collier

Today on the podcast, Kara Collier, RDN, LDN, CNSC, discusses revolutionizing preventative healthcare. It’s her mission to empower people with the knowledge to effectively monitor, optimize, and sustain their own metabolic health.

Story
10
min
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11 Simple and Effective Weight Loss Tips for Men
11 Simple and Effective Weight Loss Tips for Men

Losing weight is typically easier for men than women, biologically speaking, but it's still challenging! Here are 11 simple yet effective tips for losing weight for men.

Story
9
min
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What are the Best Times to Eat for Losing Weight?
What are the Best Times to Eat for Losing Weight?

Review our helpful article where we discuss the best times to eat if you are trying to lose weight.

Story
10
min
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NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Books on Metabolic Health
NutriSense Dietitians Recommend: Best Books on Metabolic Health

Whether you're looking for weight loss tips or to learn more about metabolism, a little reading material can go a long way. To help you get started, here’s some books on metabolic health, recommended by our Nutrition Team.

Story
9
min
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Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): Can It Replace Your Workout?
Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT): Can It Replace Your Workout?

NEAT can’t replace the benefits of intense cardio or strength-training workouts but like any physical activity, it has many overall health and fitness benefits. Read on to find out everything you need to know about NEAT.

Podcast
40
min
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NutriSense CGM Program Review
NutriSense CGM Program Review

On this week's episode, Shannon describes the comfort, cost, usability, and education she experienced using the continuous glucose monitor program from NutriSense.

Podcast
25
min
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Track Your Health in Real-Time with Dan Zavorotny
Track Your Health in Real-Time with Dan Zavorotny

On this episode of the Making Bank podcast, Dan Zavorotny discusses how he started the company “NutriSense” and how it reached a 150 million dollar valuation in 26 months.

Podcast
37
min
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Can a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Help You Lose Weight?
Can a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Help You Lose Weight?

Carlee Hayes talks to This Podcast Burns Fat! about the important role blood sugar plays in weight management.