Lifestyle has a significant effect on type 2 diabetes, in which diet plays a major role. Nuts are a good source of nutrition, and they provide many health benefits. However, some nuts are better than others for people with diabetes. Approximately 30.3 million adults in the United States have a form of diabetes. A healthy diet can help manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. Nuts are one of the many foods.
Nuts contain high levels of beneficial fats. Unsaturated fats in nuts perform many important functions, such as supporting cell growth and protecting organs including the heart. In addition, nuts are rich in protein, an essential nutrient, and contain many other nutrients that are important for physical health, including:
- Vitamins, such as vitamin E
- Minerals like magnesium and potassium
- Carotenoid Antioxidant
However, not all nuts benefit people with diabetes. For example, it is important to avoid salty nuts because salt may increase the risk of complications. The following are the best nuts for people with diabetes:
Almonds have a range of benefits for diabetics. A 2011 study found that the inclusion of almonds in the diet of participants with type 2 diabetes for up to 12 weeks had a positive effect on blood sugar and reduced the risk of heart disease. Another recent study, from 2017, looked at the effects of daily almond consumption over 24 weeks in people with type 2 diabetes.
The authors found that incorporating almonds into the diet helped control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. Almonds lower the body’s levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which can block arteries. They increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries. This is part of the reason that almonds reduce the risk of heart disease.
Walnuts are high in calories. They do not have a major impact on body weight or structure. Researchers assigned a low-calorie diet or nut-rich diet for 6 months to 112 participants at risk of diabetes. They found that a nut-rich diet was able to improve the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol without negatively affecting body composition. In a 2018 study, researchers examined the association between walnut intake and diabetes risk in 34,121 people. They found that people who ate walnuts in the last 24 hours were half as likely to have diabetes as compared to those who had not eaten nuts in this period.
Cashew may help improve the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. In a 2018 study, researchers gave 300 participants with type 2 diabetes either a cashew-enriched diet or a specific diabetic diet. Those on a diet rich in cashew nuts had lower blood pressure and higher levels of HDL cholesterol after 12 weeks. Cashew had no negative effect on blood sugar levels or weight.
Pistachios are relatively energy-dense but contain healthy amounts of fiber and beneficial fats. As part of a 2015 study, researchers gave a pistachio-rich or regular diet to participants with type 2 diabetes over 4 weeks. They found that the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol was significantly better in the pistachio group than in the regular diet group. Those on the pistachio diet also had lower triglyceride levels, indicating better heart health.
Peanuts are a good source of protein and fiber. They can help in weight loss and reduce the risk of heart disease. A 2013 study looked at the effect of peanuts on the diet of obese women who were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that adding peanuts to grains helped control blood sugar levels and appetite in participants. It can help with weight loss, which has a significant effect on diabetes risk.
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