Oh, Nuts!

Oh, Nuts!

As long as you don’t have any allergies, nuts can be an amazing addition to any diet, but particularly when you have diabetes. With little to no carbohydrates and loads of protein, nuts boast some amazing qualities. Let’s dive in and see if nuts would be a good addition to your diet!

Healthy fats

Nuts contain monounsaturated fatty acids.  Monounsaturated fats are molecules that have one unsaturated carbon bond. “Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin most Americans need more of.”1 You may have been told to avoid nuts because they are very high in calories. Most of their calories come from these fatty acids so it is important to monitor portion sizes.

Protein

Whenever you are choosing a food, protein is a key macronutrient to focus on. Not only does it help build muscle, it is slow to digest meaning that anything you eat with it is also digested slowly. This is great for two reasons. The first is that it keeps you fuller longer which leads to less snacking. And the second is that it decreases the risk of blood sugar spikes by helping to slow the release of glucose into the bloodstream. “Nuts can help level out blood sugar spikes when eaten with carb-rich foods. The protein and fats, and possibly the phytochemicals, in tree nuts help mediate the post-prandial (after meal) blood sugar response to carb-rich foods.”2

Fiber

Fiber is such an important part of a healthy diet. It helps keep you satisfied by slowing digestion. It also keeps you regular and cleans your insides sort of like a scrub brush! On average, adults eat only about 15 grams of fiber per day. The recommendations for women are 25 grams of fiber daily, and for men 38 grams daily. Eating a diet high in fiber can also promote weight loss due to the fact that you stay full and satisfied longer and may then consume fewer calories.  Speak with your physician if you have concerns about weight loss.

Servings

Here are some serving sizes for nuts to give you an idea of what a portion would look like:

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter = 190 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate
  • 2 tbsp almond butter = 200 calories, 7 grams carbohydrate
  • 2 tbsp dry roasted peanuts = 180 calories, 7 grams carbohydrate
  • ¼ cup raw pistachio nutmeats = 170 calories, 8 grams carbohydrate
  • ¼ cup almonds = 133 calories, 5 grams carbohydrate
  • 1 oz cashews = 157 calories, 9 grams carbohydrate
  • ¼ cup macadamia nuts = 240 calories, 5 grams carbohydrate

Consider adding nuts to a snack, a salad, breakfast or even dessert!

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.
View References
  1. American Heart Association. Monosaturated Fats. https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/articles/monounsaturated-fats. Accessed May 11, 2018
  2. Ford-Martin, Paula. Baker MD, Jason. The Everything Guide to Managing Type 2 Diabetes. 2013. Page 86.

Comments

View Comments (4)
  • Katie Gutwald, RD moderator author
    6 months ago

    So nice to hear that your wife is so supportive of you. Many people are missing that important support system. Portion sizing is tough, but once you get back into it, you will start to know about the size of each portion and it will become easier and easier. Good for you for wanting to take steps toward better health!!! Katie Gutwald RD Community Moderator

  • Riddler
    6 months ago

    Wife and I eat a small bit of raw almonds and raw pistachios every morning after our breakfast. She’ll count a few of each out and put into a very small container every morning when she gets up unless it’s on a date day and we’re going to be out eating lunch then she won’t do that. Other wise it’s just what she counts out in the mixture. Forget the exact amout. Might be five or six almonds and maybe five or six pistachios. Something like that.

    What would you recommend as a count for the two of them when doing something like that?

  • Katie Gutwald, RD moderator author
    6 months ago

    Hey Riddler,
    Great question! So glad you and your wife make healthy choices together! I would look at each of the packages you are using because it depends on whether or not the nuts are slivered, chopped, etc as to their nutrition content. Then decide how many carbohydrates you want for that meal and count out that way. Does that make sense? Thanks for commenting!!! Katie Gutwald RD Community Moderator

  • Riddler
    6 months ago

    We don’t buy the packets but instead go to Sprouts and get a few pounds out of the barrels and put them into the bags to buy that way. I counted this morning after she gave me mine and looked like I had about 6 almonds and maybe 10 of the pistachios. Both are raw full size shelled nuts. We never buy in shell but already shelled. We get the unsalted ones. Not crazy about nuts being loaded with salt on them.
    Hope you have a great weekend as well.

    Told the wife that I’m going back to measuring my portions with the measuring cups again. I’ve already started back doing that with cereal and told her I’m going to do that with everything else. I saw the article here about calories and the chart in it. The brown rice said a cup had a hundred and something calories. I looked at the precooked brown rice bowls we get and they have approx 300 calories to them. Told her I was going to start taking a cup of it instead when we heat them up and she can have the rest or whatever she wants to do with it but I was only going to do a cup of it. Gong to be hard to do this all over again because I kinda toss the portion control out at times and I really need to get back into it.

    Wife said that after I have the meeting with the new dietitian/nutritionist she was going to follow whatever I was told. Told her I hope so(not gong to push her right off though) because I don’t want to ever see her in this club of ours. That it’s not something she needs to be in at all. That one of us in it is enough.

    Right??

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