Nuts Over Carbs for Diabetes: A recent study shows that when those dealing with type 2 diabetes switched out some of their regular carbohydrates for a half cup of mixed nuts each day, the participants’ blood sugar levels and LDL cholesterol levels dipped slightly over three months. This is no reason to eat nuts all day long, but it’s a good enough reason to think about throwing in some nuts in place of the carbs each day.
The study was led by David J.A. Jenkins, M.D., of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada. He “randomly assigned subjects to one of three treatments (daily supplements) for three months: mixed nuts (75 g/day; 40 patients), half portion of nuts (38 patients), or muffins (39 patients).”
The study had 117 patients coping with type 2 diabetes, and the study showed that the group that ate two ounces of nuts daily instead of carbs improved both glycemic control and serum lipids. The results of the study were published in the Diabetes Care.
We all know that nuts are high in calories, and we also know that they contain fats that are good for us. Nuts contain unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, the so-called healthy fats. These fats are believed to lower the LDL cholesterol levels, which is the bad cholesterol that clogs the arteries. Nuts also contain fiber, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, plant sterols, and L-argine.
The nuts used in this study were unsalted almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts, cashews, macadamias and peanuts. There were three groups in the study: Muffin group, full-nut group and half-nut group. The muffin group ate a “healthy” muffin, so called because the muffin was made of whole wheat products, sweetened with apple concentrate, and had no sugar added. This combination of ingredients had similar protein content to the nuts used in the study because of the egg white and skim milk powder that was contained in the muffin.
The patients in the full-nut group had a decrease in their A1C levels (0.21 percent), but the muffin group showed no such decrease. The LDL levels in the full-nut group decreased significantly, whereas the muffin group showed no such decrease.
It is known that nuts are good for you, but so is olive oil and avocadoes. This current study did not take into account the possible benefits of olive oil and avocadoes.
So you might want to think about tossing out the muffin for breakfast and replacing it with nuts. Also work in a good dose of cardio exercise for approximately 30 minutes per day and add a little light weights three or four times a week.
In some cases, type 2 diabetes can be controlled through diet and exercise, avoiding the use of oral medications, but always follow your doctor’s instructions, even before going heavy on the nuts. This study group was a group of participants who were already on medication for their type 2 diabetes and were considered to have good control over their blood sugar levels.