Fruit tends to get a bad rap when it comes to your blood sugar, but berries are one of the few notable exceptions; since they’re high in fiber and low in sugar, berries won’t raise your blood sugar levels much. But one particular berry stands out in this regard: according to registered dietitians, raspberries are the best berry for high blood sugar. And that’s just one of the Secret Side Effects of Eating Raspberries. Not only do they win the contest for the highest fiber, but they also happen to have the lowest sugar content, too. Plus, they’re packed with a ton of other beneficial compounds.
That might help to explain why a 2019 study in Food & Function found that when pre-diabetic adults with insulin resistance ate raspberries with a meal, they had lower post-meal insulin levels.
The glycemic index measures how much your blood sugar will increase when you eat a particular food. According to Juliana Tamayo, RDN, an editor for Fitness Clone, the glycemic index for raspberries is 32, which is considered “low.” That makes it a standout food option for diabetics.
Why raspberries are the best berry for high blood sugar
“This means that when you eat raspberries, your blood sugar won’t rise as much because you absorb and digest fiber much slower,” Tamayo explains.
Raspberries are particularly high in two types of antioxidants: flavonols and anthocyanidins. Anthocyanins hinder certain digestive enzymes, thus slowing down digestion, which can help prevent blood sugar spikes.
“The anthocyanins in raspberries have been linked to lower blood glucose and insulin levels,” explains Sara Chatfield, RDN at Health Canal. “And the tannins inhibit enzymes associated with breaking down carbohydrates, leading to lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, consumption of raspberries has been linked with beneficial changes in gut health, which may support better blood sugar control.
Tips to eat raspberries to manage blood sugar
While you can totally nosh on raspberries alone, Tamayo suggests combining them with a source of protein for the best blood sugar control. She recommends pairing them with unsweetened Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or a handful of almonds.
“Adding them to a handful of nuts will boost their power because of the healthy fats and proteins from the nuts that slow down the digestion even more,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, RD, a senior clinical dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of Recipe For Survival.
Better yet, toss those raspberries and nuts onto a hearty and high-fiber bowl of oatmeal for even more blood sugar control.