Control Blood Sugar and Cap Cholesterol With This Snack
I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Nuts are part of a healthy diet.
I know you may have been told to avoid them because being high in fat they might cause YOU to get fat. But it’s simply NOT true…well, at least the part about getting fat at any rate.
Nuts are indeed full of fat. But it’s the super-healthy unsaturated and monounsaturated kinds of fat that are packed inside those shells. You know, the kinds that are good for you and your heart.
At the beginning of this year, I told you how research has shown that a daily 2 oz. serving of raw organic almonds can help with both blood-sugar and cholesterol control.
Even earlier, last year, I explained how increasing fat in your diet could actually help slash your diabetes risk by half. You just need to be sure it’s the monounsaturated kind you find in foods like…yes, you guessed it…almonds and walnuts.
Now, a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care has confirmed that a handful or two of nuts per day could be the key to controlling your blood sugar and balancing your LDL-cholesterol levels.
A team of researchers led by Dr. David Jenkins of the University of Toronto found that replacing some carbohydrates in a group of Type II diabetics’ diets with two ounces of mixed nuts daily allowed them to have significantly better control over their blood-glucose levels. Not only that, but the study volunteers also saw a welcome drop in their LDL-cholesterol numbers.
Diabetic volunteers were given one of three snacks daily:
- a mixture of raw nuts that included raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, and macadamias
- a half-serving of muffins and a half-serving of the nut mixture
Now, I have no idea why the research team chose to use muffins for its study except that they are an all-too-common carbohydrate-packed breakfast choice. I should also point out that the team was very careful to match the calorie count…about 475…for each of the three snack choices.
Those diabetics who ate the daily nut snack had their hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) numbers…the glycemic levels that doctors check to see how well-controlled your blood sugar is…plummet by an incredible two thirds. And, as I already mentioned, the volunteers also had a significant drop in their LDL-cholesterol levels.
The muffin-only group didn’t fair so well, seeing no improvements in their blood-sugar control or cholesterol numbers. But, interestingly, the group that received both the muffins and the nuts did also experience a drop in LDL levels.
Oh, and just as was the case in previous nut studies, the fat-filled nuts did NOT cause the volunteers to gain any weight. So there’s no reason to avoid nuts because you’re concerned about packing on the pounds.
I do have to mention that this study was partially funded by the International Tree Nut Council and the Peanut Institute. (Yes, they ARE real organizations, and, yes, I too giggled when I read it.)
However, reportedly, neither organization played a role in the design, implementation, or interpretation of the data. And since the study seems to just be stacking more evidence on the growing pile that already exists supporting nuts as part of a good diet, I’m inclined to accept the results at face value this time.
So go ahead…just let loose and go nuts.
"Nuts as a Replacement for Carbohydrates in the Diabetic Diet,” Diabetes Care, June 29, 2011, Published online before print, doi: 10.2337/dc11-0338
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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