August 06, 2015

3 Reasons You Should Enjoy Grapes in Moderation

Bursting with juice and fragrant with freshness, a bunch of grapes is irresistible indeed. They are in season now, so the time is ripe for reaping their multiple health benefits. But before you go grape-shopping, take this advice: 
Eaten in moderation, grapes fight bowel cancer
Newresearch shows that the reservatrol in red grapes can prevent bowel cancer. Most significantly, this study emphasizes that a low dose of grapes rather an a high one is key to reaping this benefit. Published in in the journal Science Translational Medicine, this is the first study to look into red grapes’ benefits when only taken in moderation. The powerful polyphenol reservatrol in them is shown to improve chances of diminishing tumors, although the effectiveness rises in smaller amounts.
Overeating grapes can lead to weight gain
One cup, or about 30 grapes, contains only 105 calories. Enjoy this amount thrice a week or even every day, and you are treating yourself to a healthy snack. However, grapes are easy to pop, so it can be easy to overeat them. The culprit here is fructose which, unlike insulin, fails to deliver the message to the brain that the stomach is full. As a result, we bypass our internal “stop” button and tend to munch our way through a whole bunch of grapes.
One too many can raise blood sugar
Yes, grapes are sweet, but eaten in moderation, they do not raise blood sugar levels. In fact, they are considered a diabetic-friendly fruit. That’s because grapes have a Glycemic Index of 46, making them a low-GI food. (Foods that have a GI of 55 or lower are considered low on the glycemic index, so they usually don’t cause large blood sugar spikes when eaten in moderation.) But then again, the word “moderation” is key here. Diabetics also need to be careful about their carbohydrate intake. One carbohydrate serving for diabetics should contain 15 grams of carbohydrate. A 1 cup serving of grapes contains 16 grams of carbohydrate, of which 1 gram is fiber and 15 grams are sugars. So far, so good. But overeating can cause carbohydrate levels to rise, too.
Grapes are best eaten fresh and in season. While you can simply pop them as a snack on their own, they are wonderful in salads and with cheese. Try this light and delicious salad, for instance. I’ve tucked them into peanut butter sandwiches and the result is a sweet-and-tangy treat!
Tip: Select grapes that are plump, full-colored, and firmly attached to their stems. Look for a slight pale-yellow hue on green grapes, while red grapes should have a deep color with no blemish or tinge of green.

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