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More Nuts, Thank You

One benefit to having diabetes is that I can write about what I actually experience, perhaps adding a measure of credibility to whatever advice I give you. And, with some issues I have 50 years of “data” to back up my claims – I’m like a walking, talking long-term clinical study. Still, it’s reassuring when the results of other studies confirm my recommendations, and a study of the nut eating habits of people with type 2 diabetes, published in Circulation Research (the technical journal of the American Heart Association), confirmed (again) my recommendation for adding nuts to your diet.

Nuts beneficial for heart health

An evaluation of the eating habits of more than 16,000 men and women, where the group collectively experienced 5682 deaths over the long study period, showed significant reductions in heart disease (-17%), cardiovascular-related death (-30%) and even all-cause death for participants eating five or more servings of nuts per week (compared to participants who essentially ate no nuts). Notably, the study group participants who began consuming nuts only after their diabetes diagnosis showed impressive risk reductions too. These impressive results were associated to tree nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, etc.) more strongly than for peanuts, which are actually a legume.

The authors point out that “nuts are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, plant proteins, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals (eg, phytosterols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids)” and cite the results of other studies showing a wide range of health benefits. This study looked specifically at people with type 2 diabetes.

Things to keep in mind when eating nuts

Several years ago I posted Be Nutty for Nuts on which, if you take a look, will give you the practical advice for adding nuts to your diet. I eat nuts every day, often as a low carbohydrate snack. Nuts do pack a lot of calories into modest portion sizes, and it’s important to consider whether added ingredients, like salt, fit into your diet. If not, consider nuts without the additions. This study specific to men and women with type 2 diabetes should get your attention – it certainly got mine.

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