We know that in general, nuts are healthy and good for you:
- they are packed with nutrients and proteins,
- they help with lowering blood pressure
- they are great for heart health
- they increase energy
- they efficiently help you to reach daily nutritional goals
- they offer a great alternative to candy or junk foods
- they are a great source of fiber
- they can be an integral part of a weight-loss regime
But we've also learned that not all nuts have the same benefits, and those subtle differences can be critical in choosing the right nuts to work with your body, needs, and medical conditions.
People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes know that a key focus is to avoid or reduce sugar intake, which helps them manage and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, blood glucose levels (insulin levels).
So, are nuts good for diabetics? The answer may surprise you. In fact, some of the most popular nut varieties are actually very beneficial for people who have diabetes!
The American Diabetes Association lists nuts as one of the recommended Superfoods for Diabetics. According to research in Circulation Research, an American Heart Association journal, eating more nuts, particularly tree nuts, may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease among people with type 2 diabetes.
"An ounce of nuts can go a long way in getting key healthy fats along with helping to manage hunger. In addition, they offer magnesium and fiber. Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids."
Health Benefits of Nuts
As mentioned, there are a number of overall health benefits of nuts, some of those include:
- Reducing cardiovascular disease
- Reducing the risk of heart attack (improving cholesterol levels)
- Reducing LDL cholesterol levels (bad cholesterol)
- Increasing HDL cholesterol levels (good cholesterol)
- Helping to maintain blood glucose levels (blood sugar levels)
- Improve artery strength (with high-density lipoproteins)
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Benefits of Nuts for Diabetes
Before we begin this list we want to make sure that overall, salted nuts should be avoided as salty foods have been shown in study after study to increase heart disease and cardiovascular complications. Roasted nuts typically have salt, but also often are roasted with additional oils. This is especially critical for patients with diabetes.
Some nuts have been shown to be low on the glycemic index, meaning they slow the absorption of carbohydrates, leading to better control over blood glucose levels, managing insulin levels. The study showed that even adding some nuts to white bread slowed the rise of blood sugar dramatically. (Source: Almonds and postprandial glycemia--a dose-response study )
Some nuts are higher in calories than others, so be sure to take that into consideration with your overall diet and daily consumption because this can directly affect your insulin levels if not monitored properly. Weight gain is especially concerning in those patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes as that affects insulin levels and blood glucose control. Nuts offer a great opportunity to eat a healthy diet, to switch "bad" or "empty calorie" foods into nutritious and productive ones, so take a look at the list below and get creative with your snacking or adding them to your meals.
Top 5 Nuts for Diabetes
Read more about the health benefits of pistachios here
NOTE: Peanuts can increase your blood sugar, so monitor your intake and levels until you know what works best for you.
While each type of nut varies, a general rule of thumb for a serving of nuts is included below.
- Recommended serving size: 1 oz
- 160 to 220 calories
- 12 to 18 grams of fat
- 5 to 10 grams of total carbohydrate
- 1 to 4 grams of dietary fiber
- 1 to 3 grams of naturally occurring sugar
- 5 to 8 grams of protein
Nuts are often considered powerhouse health foods, even superfoods, but you need to be careful in selecting which nuts are right for you, your goals, your health conditions, and your daily routines. Aside from the types of varieties, nuts come in all different types of presentions, from yogurt covered to chocolate-covered, salted, roasted, and even honey roasted. Sure, they're delicious, but so are raw nuts, and much better for your health and managing your caloric intake and glucose levels.
Remember: unsalted, raw, and in moderation.
Also, please note that the information we provide in this article should not be considered medical advice. We are not physicians we just sell nuts in bulk. You can check out our products if you want to buy bulk nuts online.
- Nuts and diabetes
- Nuts and Diabetes: Are Nuts a Good Snack for People with Diabetes?
- 15 Fun Facts About Nuts You Probably Don't Know