Nuts Make A Healthy Snack For Diabetics Concerned With Weight Gain
New research released in a study published in August’s Diabetes Care issue demonstrates that nuts are a healthy snacking choice for diabetic patients. 2 ounce servings of peanuts were used in the study, but other nuts also work well. Participants with type 2 diabetes who swapped a carbohydrate-rich snack for nuts saw better blood glucose control readings and blood lipid counts.
The Principal Investigator for the study, Dr. David Jenkins, explained that nuts make a good replacement for carbohydrates because the proteins and fats in them promote heart health. Diabetes also raises the risk for heart disease, making protection of this organ even more important.
Peanuts were used in the study for their high concentrations of healthy proteins and polyunsaturated oils. These oils, despite being fats, are believed to boost metabolic rates and protect the heart. These vegetable-based fats also lower the risk of developing diabetes, so nuts may be the best snack for people with pre-diabetes or a increased risk due to family history.
Nearly 120 adults were split into three groups and received different snacks. The first group received mixed nuts, the second a serving of muffins and the third a mix of the two snacks. Even though the muffins were healthy and made of whole wheat flour, the group eating nuts saw the best results in blood glucose control measures after three months.
Peanuts and other nuts may also offer health benefits for other groups of chronic disease sufferers. Testing showed that LDL, the bad form of cholesterol, was lower in the group eating only nut snacks. Most of these patients in all three groups were also taking statin drugs designed to lower cholesterol, but the nut group saw a significant difference in cholesterol levels. None of the snackers who received nuts gained weight due to the increase in fat consumption either.