Because nuts are an energy dense food with a high fat content, there is a widespread perception that eating nuts…
Can people with diabetes eat nuts?
Absolutely. Regularly eating nuts can help manage existing diabetes and diabetes-related complications, as well as reducing the risk of developing diabetes. Research shows that nuts lowers HbA1c and blood glucose levels .
Research shows that nuts play an important role in preventing type 2 diabetes , managing existing diabetes and preventing or reducing the progression of diabetes-related complications .
How do nuts help manage diabetes?
While nuts themselves are not low GI (as they don’t have enough carbohydrate), they have a GI lowering effect, meaning that they reduce the rise in blood glucose after a meal . Nuts contain mainly healthy unsaturated fats, and are low in saturated fats. Replacing saturated fats and trans fats with unsaturated fats improve insulin sensitivity, and reduce type 2 diabetes risk .
Most nuts are a rich source of magnesium, which can improve fasting blood glucose and blood lipid levels in those with diabetes .
Nuts also help to manage other health issues that often affect people with diabetes, for example, being overweight, developing heart disease, or having abnormal blood lipids.
- Viguiliouk, E., et al., Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled dietary trials. PLoS One, 2014. 9(7): p. e103376.
- Afshin, A., et al., Consumption of nuts and legumes and risk of incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr, 2014. 100(1): p. 278-88.
- Kendall, C.W., et al., The glycemic effect of nut-enriched meals in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2011. 21 Suppl 1: p. S34-9.
- Riserus, U., W.C. Willett, and F.B. Hu, Dietary fats and prevention of type 2 diabetes. Prog Lipid Res, 2009. 48(1): p. 44-51.
- Dong, J.Y., et al., Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes: meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Diabetes Care, 2011. 34(9): p. 2116-22.