Nuts And Type 2 Diabetes
Nuts have immense benefits for diabetics, as they are high in protein, healthy fats, fiber while being low on carbohydrates. Research also shows positive effects of consuming tree nuts on heart health. Read on more to find out about what kind of nuts are recommended for people with diabetes.
Tree nuts such as almonds help to lower blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing heart illness. Almonds have these effects as they reduce the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol which causes the blockage of arteries. They also raise the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which eliminates LDL cholesterol from the arteries, hence reducing the risk of developing heart illness. Almonds are also beneficial for diabetics because they contain high amounts of magnesium, with three tablespoons of almonds containing 80 mg of magnesium. Magnesium is needed for blood sugar control and normal blood pressure. A 20 year-long study on 4000 people showed that those with the highest magnesium intake had a 47% lower risk of developing diabetes. Hence, almonds are one of the most beneficial nuts to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
Walnuts are beneficial for diabetics as they contain healthy fats, are high in protein and fiber which help to curb appetite and maintain blood sugar levels. In addition, walnuts contain high amounts of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), a fatty acid which helps to reduce inflammation, promote heart health and is related to diabetes. In addition, in a 2018 study on 34,121 people with risk of diabetes, people who had consumed walnuts in the last 24 hours had a 50% lower risk of developing diabetes compared to the group of people who did not consume any walnuts.
Pistachios are nutrient rich nuts, containing high amounts of fiber, protein and healthy fats which helps to make you feel full for a longer period. They also contain monosaturated fats which helps to keep LDL cholesterol levels low and protect your heart. Pistachios are healthy snacks as they do not cause a spike in blood sugar levels, and hence are a good option for diabetic people. In a 2015 study, participants with type 2 diabetes were grouped into two, with one group being given a pistachio diet while the other group being given a normal diet. The group that was given a pistachio diet had better ratios of HDL to LDL cholesterol levels than the group which had a normal diet. Hence, this shows that pistachios do help in controlling cholesterol levels. The group with the pistachio diet also had lower triglyceride levels. Triglyceride is a type of fat in your blood. Low triglyceride levels are desirable as they indicate that insulin action has begun, as insulin converts triglycerides into energy for the body. Lower triglyceride levels thus indicate that your diabetic condition may be improving.
Peanuts are beneficial for diabetics, as they promote feelings of fullness, due to their rich protein content. Peanuts also helps to regulate blood sugar levels, according to a pilot study published in one of the issues of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Consuming peanuts may help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, and hence reduces the risk of developing heart illness as well. This is according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes.co.uk respectively.
Finally, we have cashew nuts. Cashew nuts are beneficial for diabetics, as they contain healthy fats which helps to improve the ratio of HDL and LDL cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of developing heart illness. The healthy fats are called oleic acid, which are essentially monosaturated fats and they make up for 75% of the fat content in cashews. In a study concerning 300 participants in 2018, it was found that participants who were given a cashew filled diet had lower levels of blood pressure and higher HDL levels after 12 weeks than participants who were given a diet without cashews. The diet also did not negatively affect blood glucose levels and weight. Hence, cashew nuts are beneficial for diabetics as they promote a good ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol level.
All in all, nuts are healthy snacks as they contain high amounts of protein, fiber and healthy fats which helps to keep cholesterol levels down and makes one satiated. They are also low in carbohydrates and hence they will not cause a spike in blood glucose levels, which is beneficial for people with diabetes. However, do remember not to overeat as the calorie count will increase. For more information on how many nuts you should consume per day, do check out our blog. Lastly do consult your doctor for professional advice, as nuts are not a treatment for diabetes.