Objective: To compare effects of raisin snacks with conventional snacks on glycemia and cardiovascular risk factors.
Materials and methods: A 12-week, randomized, controlled trial compared 3-times-a-day consumption of raisins with intake of processed snacks on glycemia and cardiovascular risk factors. Men and women were randomized to snacks (n = 15) or raisins (n = 31). Outcome measures were performed at baseline, 4, 8, and 12 weeks.
Results: Fasting plasma glucose levels were not significantly affected by intake of raisins or snacks. Mean subject post prandial glucose levels were significantly reduced by raisin intake at 12 weeks; changes with raisin intake were -13.1 mg/dL (P = 0.003 vs baseline; P = 0.03 vs snacks). Eating raisins significantly decreased glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level (-0.12%; P = 0.004), a significantly greater level decrease than seen with snack intake (P = 0.036). Snack intake did not significantly affect subject systolic or diastolic blood pressure (BP). Raisin intake was associated with reductions in systolic blood pressure (SBP) at 4, 8, and 12 weeks with mean changes of -6.0 to 10.2 mmHg; all these changes were statistically significant (P = 0.015 to 0.001). Raisins were associated with significantly greater changes in diastolic blood pressure (DBP) at 4, 8, and 12 weeks than snacks (P < 0.05). Body weight did not significantly change within or between groups.
Conclusions: Regular consumption of raisins may reduce glycemia and cardiovascular risk factors, including BP rate.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01260272.