Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Raisins Might Be Good For Teeth, But Bad For Waistline

This Reuters story about a new research study from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry advises people to start eating more raisins to suppress bacteria that can cause tooth decay and gum disease.

But that would not be good advice for people who are livin' la vida low-carb because raisins are extremely high in carbohydrates. These naturally sweet little pieces of fruit add up to an astoundingly high 110 net carbs for a cup of them. That would literally foil the plans of anyone following a low-carb lifestyle to lose weight and is not recommended. Make sure you brush your teeth after you eat and you shouldn't have to worry about tooth decay and gum disease.

The researchers found that five specific phytochemicals are produced when people eat raisins that help aid the promotion of healthy teeth and gums.

"Raisins are perceived as sweet and sticky and any food that contains sugar and is sticky is assumed to cause cavities," lead researcher Christine Wu said in a statement. "But our study suggests the contrary. Phytochemicals in raisins may benefit oral health by fighting bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease."

This study was paid for by the California Raisin Marketing Board. Why of course it was? What else would we expect them to say? Raisins are bad for you? Heck no, they're trying to sell 'em no matter how high in carbs they are!

Wu added: "Foods that are sticky do not necessarily cause tooth decay; it is mainly the added sugar (sucrose) that contributes to the problem."

Okay, I'll agree the "added sugar" is what makes sugar bad for your teeth, but even natural sugars found in raisins and bananas are bad for your low-carb diet.

Wu presented her findings at the American Society for Microbiology in Atlanta, Georgia today.

Instead of raisins, I recommend low-carbers enjoy some fresh blueberries instead. Loaded with rich antioxidants, delicious blueberries are a lot lower in carbs than raisins and taste just as good!


Blogger DietKing said...

Do I hear the sound of the California Raisins dancing to 'I Heard It Through the Grapevine' again? They'd love us to eat tons of them, wouldn't they? :-)

6/08/2005 6:15 PM  
Blogger Levi said...

Raisons, as most know, are just dried grapes. As with all dried fruit, when you suck out all the water, everything in them is concentrated, including the sugar. So whereas 20 grapes might make you pretty full, the same number of raisons without all the water will not really cause much satiety. So there's a real possibility of downing 100 or more without even thinking twice! You should really stay away from any dried fruits when low-carbing because they are very dense in sugar...

6/09/2005 8:26 AM  

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