Cranberries for Better Blood Sugar?

April 03, 2013

Could common foods in your diet help control the release of starchy foods leading to better blood sugar? Find out here

A study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that tannin compounds in cranberries, pomegranates, grapes and cacao, might slow the digestion of starchy foods – proving beneficial for blood sugar regulation.
Starchy foods including potatoes, pasta and rice, often have a negative impact on blood sugar, causing highs and lows, specifically among those who are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Researchers from the US Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Centre, Rutgers University, James Madison University, and Ohio State University tested various foods and found that cranberries were the most significant inhibitor of starch-digesting enzymes. Current medications on the market mimic this action; however they can cause intestinal problems like diarrhea and other GI issues. This study demonstrated that cranberries may prompt the same action as the medication, without the associated side effects.
Due to their high level of natural sugars many fruits typically raise blood sugar levels, and are often avoided by diabetics. It seems cranberries, pomegranates and grapes, are a much safer choice.
Previous research also supports this hypothesis. A study carried out in 2008 published in The Journal of Food Science found that drinking unsweetened cranberry juice helped type 2 diabetics control blood sugar. Although there are just a few studies on cranberries and other foods containing high amounts of tannins and blood sugar control, these foods and other nutrient dense foods seem to show promise in improving and maintaining health.
As always consult with your health care practitioner before making any changes to your diet.