Let’s go back to when you were first told you had diabetes or prediabetes. Do you remember how overwhelming all the information could be?
Your doctor talking to you about medication. The doctor might even have told you to lose weight but you didn’t get told how.
Most doctors and nurses would’ve told you that fat is bad and to eat a low-fat, low calorie diet. I’ve spoken to many diabetics who have followed this style of eating and are so frustrated as their numbers get worse.
Fat phobia in our diets has so much to answer for. You only need to look around you to realise that we took a wrong turn on the nutritional road in the 70’s and 80’s.
It means you might not be eating one natural food that is proven to protect your heart, circulation and can help diabetes too.
You can find this food everywhere, yes, even gas stations. Not only is it a perfect snack for your blood sugars, but if you eat it everyday you will be healthier too.
So what am I talking about?
Go Nuts for Nuts
Yes, I am talking about nuts. Nuts are full of micronutrients that provide a protective effect - in spite of the calories.
Let me talk you through a study of people eating ½ a cup of nuts a day on top of their usual food.
After 3 months of following this regime the people eating the nuts had smaller waists than the group that wasn’t adding in nuts to their daily diet.
Not only that, but they had less visceral fat. That matters as it’s the fat in your abdomen around your organs that drives the metabolic disease and inflammation that leads to type 2, heart disease, strokes and some cancers.
There’s a long list of the reduction of risks that regular nut eating brings.
High blood pressure
Nuts also decrease your cholesterol levels, particularly triglycerides (the nasty fat that does increase your risk).
Which nuts work best?
To start with the studies were done with tree nuts. Peanuts and cashews are not tree nuts but legumes and the effects of nuts don’t apply in the same way to peanuts and cashews.
Peanuts and legumes are actually legumes and are higher in carbohydrates so they aren’t included in your nut eating.
All other nuts are a perfect choice. A number of the studies showed the benefits of walnuts and almonds but the health benefits have been shown to apply to all tree nuts.
The less processed the better, so raw is best, but you will still give loads of benefits from roasted nuts.
Make sure the nuts are plain roasted and not coated. Nut’s that are ‘dry roasted’ or ‘honey roasted’ can add a huge amount and chemicals and carbohydrates. Both things that you really don’t want added to your healthy snack.
One of the issue with nuts is that they are moreish and it’s easy to overeat them. In the studies the participants were having 30 - 60 gms per day.
This equates to about ½ cup of nuts a day. The best way to eat the right amount is to measure out ½ cup and put in a snack box and eat the nuts over the day when you want to.
If you want to increase the health benefits, combine nuts and chocolate. Dark chocolate has numerous health benefits too.
Make sure you get chocolate that is over 85% cocoa solids (the higher the better), melt and coat your nuts and enjoy.
Who said dropping your blood sugars and improving your health had to be difficult!