The Benefits of a Healthier Diet
If you’re a diabetic, or are otherwise concerned about your glucose levels, a new study has some potentially life-saving news for you. Researchers have found that replacing carbohydrates with just two ounces of nuts on a daily basis significantly improved glycemic control and reduced LDL cholesterol for patients with type 2 diabetes.
The study was published in the August issue of Diabetes Care and features the work of David Jenkins, MD, PhD, DSc, who says that, “Nuts, including peanuts, can make a valuable contribution to the diabetic diet by displacing high glycemic index carbohydrates and replacing them with vegetable fats and vegetable proteins which have been shown in the long term to be associated with better cardiovascular health and diabetes prevention.”
Why so good? One of the qualities of nuts that the study gives as a potential cause of this benefit is that they are a source of mono- and polyunsaturated oils–fatty acids that are healthier than saturated fats. In addition, they report that the high amount of protein found in nuts helps reduce hunger by increasing the length of time that one feels full.
Making the change, one thing to consider when seeking to implement this change in your diet is the increasing prevalence of peanut and other tree nut allergies. A 1999 study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) estimated that approximately 1.1 percent of the population, or some 3 million Americans, are affected by this allergy, which can cause hives, throat tightness, wheezing, vomiting, and other serious side effects.
On the other hand, the NIH reports that over 18 million Americans have been diagnosed with diabetes and estimates that there are an additional 7 million who have not been diagnosed. If consuming two ounces of nuts a day can significantly improve aspects of this condition, which is associated with blindness, heart disease, kidney failure, limb amputation, stroke, and death, it would appear to be a smart move to make.
Just make sure the nuts you are consuming are raw and have been soaked in a water for few hours since nuts have enzyme inhibitors and by soaking you will make them much more beneficial.