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Exploring Nut Varieties for Type 2 Diabetes Management

Some days, managing your type 2 diabetes may feel like a tough nut to crack. So, help make it easier by incorporating nuts into your daily routine! Check out how each tasty variety can help you reach your health potential, one savory bite at a time.

What are the health benefits of nuts?

Fiber

The fact is that fiber provides a ton of health benefits! Nuts contain soluble fiber that binds to cholesterol and rids it from the body. Fiber consumption also helps improve digestive health by promoting bowel regularity and microbiome diversity, which can positively impact immune function.1

Healthy fats

Not all fats are the same! Monounsaturated fats found in nuts help lower LDL cholesterol, ultimately decreasing the risk of cardiovascular-related diseases. They also help slow down digestion, helping to lessen blood glucose fluctuations and improve type 2 diabetes management. Finally, healthy fats also help improve satiation, which may help decrease overall caloric intake and promote weight loss or management.2

Vitamin E

This nutrient has disease-fighting powers! Vitamin E is an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals associated with oxidative stress. This powerhouse nutrient also decreases chronic inflammation, influencing insulin resistance and overall health.3

Are all nuts nutritionally the same?

While they all have their benefits, each differs uniquely! So, check out how to choose the perfect nut to support your lifestyle.

Almonds

Almonds are highest in fiber, helping you stay full and satisfied between meals while also contributing to better blood glucose control. A two-tablespoon serving is approximately 3.3g of fiber, accounting for about 9 percent of the recommended intake for men and 13 percent for women under 50 years old.3,4

Considering that most people do not consume enough fiber, it may be worth the swap!

Peanuts

This option is highest in protein, which helps provide the body with the necessary tools for muscle growth and recovery. They are also the most affordable and accessible option, making it possible to hit your protein needs on the go! A 2 tbsp serving of peanuts packs 7.1g of protein.5

Macadamia

Compared to other options, this nut is highest in calories yet lowest in protein. A serving of macadamia nuts provides 224kcal and 2.5g protein.6

They are also higher in saturated fat, which ideally should be limited to less than 10 percent of overall calories. However, they provide a smooth, buttery taste that may satiate cravings and minimize unwanted snacking.6

They are also a good source of manganese, which supports energy metabolism, vitamin absorption, blood sugar regulation, hormone health, tissue formation, and cognitive function.7

Are raw or roasted nuts better?

Compared to raw nuts, roasted options tend to be more flavorful, making them a popular choice. However, some brands roast the nuts in oil, which adds unwanted calories. Roasted nuts often contain added salt, which should ideally be eaten in moderation for cardiovascular benefits. High sodium intake may increase blood pressure and the risk of other comorbidities associated with type 2 diabetes. So, opt for dry-roasted, unsalted, or lightly salted choices to help reach your health potential.

While raw nuts may lack the roasted flavor, they are slightly lower in calories yet higher in protein since heating does not denature them. In addition, despite having equivalent fiber content, raw options are more challenging for the body to break down, delaying the digestive process and contributing to better blood glucose control.

How to incorporate more nuts for type 2 diabetes

  • Add them to oatmeal, yogurt, or topped on chia seed pudding
  • Transform them into homemade nut butter for toasts, smoothies, or paired with fruit
  • Create a healthy homemade trail mix with dark chocolate chips and dried fruit
  • Season them with lime juice and cayenne for a spicy, satisfying snack
  • Add dry roasted cashews to bean and chicken tacos or pasta dishes
  • Add slivered almonds or chopped walnuts to salads
  • Crush peanuts into dipping sauces for spring rolls

There are tons of different ways to incorporate nuts throughout the day. It's all about finding an option that suits your lifestyle and tastebud needs. So, experiment with these convenient ways to eat more nuts!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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