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A nutty way to control diabetes mellitus

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Diabetes management should include nuts in the diet, shown in multiple studies

Diabetes mellitus is a growing public health concern that poses challenges from complications that can develop from poor blood sugar control. Adding nuts to the diet in the form of legumes, walnuts, almonds and other nutty foods can improve blood sugar control and protect from heart disease. Nuts can also help stave off hunger to help with weight control.

Legumes lower blood pressure and improve blood sugar

In a study published last month, researchers found diabetics who added one cup of chickpeas, lentils and beans to the diet had a lower risk of heart disease from lower blood pressure.

Eating more beans also led to a reduction in HbA1C levels of 0.5 percent and was compared to study participants given whole wheat products.

Complications of diabetes from high blood pressure include kidney, heart and eye disease and higher risk of stroke.

Raw, dry or roasted nuts good for heart health

Adding a handful of nuts to the diet every day can also stave off hunger and keep blood pressure lower, also found in past studies.

Findings published July, 2011 showed adding raw, dry or roasted; unsalted nuts to the diet can help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol to prevent heart disease and improve blood glucose control.

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Eating nuts can stave off heart disease and diabetes

Eating nuts it turns out is good for almost anyone. Research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, July, 2011, found people who eat four or more servings a week have a 37 percent lower risk of heart disease.

Adding one ounce of mixed nuts such as raw unpeeled almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts to the diet daily can help reduce obesity, blood pressure, and blood sugar that are all markers of metabolic syndrome that can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Nuts contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, making it important to eat them in moderation.

Nuts are also packed with antioxidants to support overall health and reduce inflammation that accompanies chronic diseases like diabetes. Fiber found in nuts can also aid weight loss and keep us fuller longer to help control weight gain. If you suffer from diabetes mellitus and having trouble controlling blood sugar levels, consider adding a handful of nuts to your diet that can replace other less healthy food choices.


Diabetes Care: doi: 10.2337/dc11-0338
"Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet"
David J.A. Jenkins, MD; et al

Jenkins DJA et al. Effect of legumes as part of a low glycemic index diet on glycemic control and cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Archives of Internal Medicine, published online Oct. 22, 2012. doi: 10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.70

Tulipani S et al. Journal of Proteome Research 2011; DOI: 10.1021/pr200514h

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