What Are All of Those Little Things?

As nutrition trends come and go, you may notice new products showing up in your favorite grocery store’s aisles. Lately, there has been increased interest in all of the small things such as nuts, seeds and even hemp hearts.

A type 2 diet including nuts, seeds, and more

Should you give them a try? Do any of them help when you are a person living with type 2 diabetes? Let’s check them out.

Nuts

From whole and shelled to salted and buttered, as long as you aren’t allergic you are bound to meet a nut you love! Although nuts are fat and calorically dense, they actually provide the healthy fats we are encouraged to incorporate into our diet and are loaded with protein. Both fats and proteins help us reach longer satiety than carbohydrates alone. Try adding whole nuts to your salad or atop some celery layered with cream cheese for a snack. If you haven’t found a nut butter you love, try one of the new mixed nut butters on the shelves for a different taste and texture than that same old peanut butter.

Seeds

A recent Consumer’s Reports article broke down many of the popular seeds and their nutritional importance. “Seeds offer a ton of nutritional benefits, from helping with cholesterol levels to fighting off inflammation and infections to contributing to steady blood sugars.”1 As with nuts, seeds also contain healthy fats as well as antioxidants. Chia seeds boast a high fiber content. Following a high fiber diet can help lead to a healthy digestive tract. Flaxseeds contain “lignans, a fiberlike compound with antioxidant properties that may lower the risk of heart disease and some cancers.”1 Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamin E, and sesame seeds are loaded with zinc. So what is the best way to incorporate more of these seeds into your diet? Try adding them to yogurt, salads, or even into a trail mix for a snack.

Hemp hearts

Even though they come from the same Cannabis sativa plant, these seeds do not have the effects of marijuana. They are loaded with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which “…can have anti-inflammatory effects, helping the body fend off chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers."2 They contain many vitamins and minerals, making them a great choice to include in any diet. “A single serving (3 tablespoons) of hemp seeds contains 180 calories and 10 grams of protein, including all of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein source. Plus, hemp seeds are low in carbohydrates, sugar, and sodium. They are a satiating addition to a healthy diet, which can help with blood sugar control, as well as weight management or weight loss.”2

What will you add to your diet this week?

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