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 [1].

Research shows that nuts play an important role in preventing type 2 diabetes [2], managing existing diabetes and preventing or reducing the progression of diabetes-related complications [1]. 

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 [3]. 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 [4]. 

Most nuts are a rich source of magnesium, which can improve fasting blood glucose and blood lipid levels in those with diabetes [5]. 

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. 

References

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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