I’ll bet many people with diabetes (and those without!) don’t know that snacking on nuts can significantly benefit your health.
In this article, I’d like to explain the ways in which various types of nuts will actually help your blood glucose.
Pistachio nuts have actually been proven to blunt spikes in blood glucose levels after a meal. This is probably due to the fact that these nuts contain what is called arginine, which is an amino acid that is part of the building blocks of protein. Arginine has demonstrated that it helps insulin resistance in the body, therefore making a person more sensitive to their own insulin levels.
Low Glycemic Index
Most nuts along with the pistachio nuts have a low glycemic index, and therefore cause a slower and steady rise to blood glucose levels. So this is the reason that nuts make a great snack for diabetics.
Provide Healthy Fats
Nuts contain significant amounts of healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and less of the unhealthier saturated fats.
The best nuts for getting your monounsaturated fats are cashews, macadamias, almonds, and pecans.
For polyunsaturated fats it is best to eat pine nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and walnuts.
A steady diet of these types of nuts has also proven to lower lipid panels, (cholesterol and triglycerides.) These nuts also contain Omega-3’s, which is very beneficial in preventing heart disease, especially in a diabetic person.
Nuts are also another great fiber source in your diet. Fiber is needed in order to help your intestinal health and helps provide the roughage needed for the bowels. Since it is soluble fiber that is found in nuts, this also plays a role in helping insulin levels work better for you. So if you are taking insulin, you may be able to cut back on a few units daily, and if you are not, you may never have to start in the first place by eating nuts regularly.
Almonds are also another great nut for a diabetic and other people too in that not only do they also have a very low glycemic index, but they also have antioxidants which fight off free radicals that cause diseases.
How to Get More Nuts in your Diet
There are ways to get nuts into your diet other than just eating them plain. You can sprinkle various nuts on your sugar-free ice creams, or put them into a bowl of whole-grain oats that you might eat for breakfast.Salads are also good with pine nuts or walnuts too, and really adds to the flavor. Or, you can put some of these nuts as part of your snack mix for another tasty treat.
Whichever way you decide to include them in your diet, they are a wonderful source of a diabetic’s nutritional plan!