Are you trying to prevent diabetes, lower your blood sugar levels, or just looking to understand the condition? Learn more about diabetes and check out this list of healthy snacks handpicked by our Health Nut and Registered Dietitian. Successfully managing diabetes is all about balancing blood sugar levels and maintaining or achieving a healthy weight. What is Diabetes? Diabetes (often referred to in the medical community as diabetes mellitus) is caused by the body's inability to produce any or enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone the converts sugar, a.k.a glucose, to energy. Without adequate levels of insulin, sugar accumulates in the bloodstream instead of being delivered to cells to use as energy. This glucose build-up leads to high blood sugar, which triggers the signs and symptoms of diabetes. What is the Difference Between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes? Type 1 diabetes (formerly known as juvenile diabetes) is characterized by a complete lack of insulin. This type of diabetes only accounts for about 5% of people who have diabetes, and is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. In Type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys pancreatic cells that are required to produce insulin. Blood sugar levels rise without insulin to convert glucose to energy. Type 2 diabetes (also referred to as adult-onset diabetes) is the most common form of diabetes. Affecting 95% of people with diabetes, type 2 is usually detected in adulthood, although children can also develop it. In Type 2 diabetes, the body does not effectively use insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance. Initially, the pancreas responds by making more insulin to compensate, but over time, it produces less and less. This results in insulin deficiency because the body can't make enough insulin to keep bl Continue reading >>
- American Diabetes Association® Releases 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes, with Notable New Recommendations for People with Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes
- Leeds diabetes clinical champion raises awareness of gestational diabetes for World Diabetes Day
- Diabetes doctors: Which specialists treat diabetes?
Eat Nuts To Control Blood Sugar & Fat
Nuts contain unsaturated fats, protein and a range of vitamins and minerals that lower cholesterol, inflammation and insulin resistance. A recent study suggests that you should include at least 50 grams of almonds, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts or pistachios in your diet to control blood fats (triglycerides) and sugars - two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome. The study was published in the journal BMJ Open. Tree nuts tend to healthier than others. Family of tree nuts includes almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts amongst others. A person develops metabolic syndrome if he or she has three of the following risk factors - low levels of "good" cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and extra weight around the waist. By including at least 50 grams of almonds, cashews, chestnuts, walnuts or pistachios in your diet, blood fats (triglycerides) and sugars can be controlled effectively. "Eating tree nuts is good for lowering risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and strokes," said John Sievenpiper, a physician at St Michael's Hospital in Toronto. However, the greatest benefit can be reaped only if they are consumed daily. The study found a "modest decrease" in blood fats known as triglycerides and blood sugars among people who added tree nuts to their diets compared to those who ate a control diet. To reach this conclusion, Sievenpiper screened 2,000 articles published in peer-reviewed journals and found 49 randomised control trials with 2,000 participants. Sievenpiper says that the largest reductions in triglycerides and blood glucose were seen when tree nuts replaced refined carbohydrates rather than saturated fats. He also a Continue reading >>
The Benefits And Risks Of Peanuts For People With Diabetes
Peanuts are packed with a variety of nutritious properties that may benefit people with type 2 diabetes. Eating peanuts and peanut products may help: promote weight loss lower the risk of cardiovascular disease control blood sugar prevent people from developing diabetes in the first place However, peanuts also carry some potential risks. If you have type 2 diabetes, read on to learn more about the risks and benefits of eating peanuts. Adding peanuts and peanut butter to your diet may be beneficial, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. While not technically nuts, peanuts provide many of the same health benefits as tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, and pecans. Peanuts are also less expensive than most other nuts, which is great if you’re looking to save money but still want the nutritional rewards. Peanuts help control blood sugar If you have diabetes, you need to consider the glycemic content of the foods you eat. Glycemic content is based on how quickly your body converts carbohydrates into glucose, or blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) is a 100-point scale that rates foods on how rapidly they cause blood sugar to rise. Foods that cause a rapid rise in blood sugar are given a higher value. Water, which has no effect on blood sugar, has a GI value of 0. Peanuts have a GI value of 13, which makes them a low GI food. According to an article in the British Journal of Nutrition, eating peanuts or peanut butter in the morning may help control your blood sugar throughout the day. Peanuts may also help lessen the insulin spike of higher GI foods when paired together. One reason that peanuts may help control blood sugar is because they contain a large amount of magnesium. A single serving of peanuts (about 28 peanuts) contains 12 percent of the daily recommended amount Continue reading >>
Eating Just Two Servings Of Nuts A Day May Combat Type 2 Diabetes (but Peanuts Won't Help, Say Experts)
Eating nuts may help to combat type 2 diabetes, new research suggest. Two servings of tree nuts a day appears to lower and stabilise blood sugar levels in people with the disease, according to evidence collected from 12 clinical trials. Tree nuts cover most types including walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pecans, but exclude peanuts. A single serving was defined as 30 grams. Nut consumption improved two key markers of blood sugar, the results from analysing data on 450 trial participants showed. One, the HbA1c test, measures blood sugar levels over three months. The other, the fasting glucose test, assesses blood sugar after the patient has not eaten for eight hours. The best results were seen when nuts replaced refined carbohydrates rather than saturated fats. A single serving of tree nuts was defined as about a quarter of a cup, or 30 grams. Participants in the clinical trials were given 56 grams of nuts a day on average. Dr John Sievenpiper from St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, who led the study, said: ‘Tree nuts are another way people can maintain healthy blood sugar levels in the context of a healthy dietary pattern.’ While nuts are high in fat, it is of the healthier unsaturated variety. Although nuts can be high in calories, trial participants did not gain weight. Continue reading >>
Can Nuts Affect Blood Sugar?
If you worry about your blood sugar, carbohydrate-rich foods usually are the main culprit. Carbohydrates, once digested, become sugar, or glucose, and increase your blood sugar levels. Breads, pasta, breakfast cereals, rice, potatoes, cookies, muffins, sugar and soft drinks. Nuts generally have a low carbohydrate content, but could affect your blood sugar depending on how they are prepared or how many you have in a serving. Video of the Day A serving of 1 ounce of almonds contain 6.1 grams of carbohydrates, of which 3.5 grams are fiber, which means that only 2.6 grams of carbohydrates are available to raise your blood sugar levels. Fiber does not raise your blood sugar levels, but they are part of the total carbohydrate content. Subtracting fiber from the total carbohydrates gives you a better idea of the amount of carbohydrates that can truly affect your blood sugar. In this case, 1 ounce of almonds contains the equivalent of available carbohydrates found in 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, which is not likely to significantly affect your blood sugar levels. If you have a large serving, or about 1 cup of almonds, you will be getting 31 grams of total carbohydrates and 17.4 grams of fiber, which corresponds to 13.6 grams of available carbohydrates. This amount of carbohydrates correspond to the equivalent of almost a slice of bread and could raise your blood sugar levels to the same extent. Other raw and roasted nuts have similar nutritional value. Sugar-Coated Nuts Some nuts are coated with sugar, honey or other high-carb coating, which can significantly influence how these nuts will affect your blood sugar levels. For example, 1 ounce of honey roasted almonds has 7.9 grams of carbohydrates and 3.9 grams of fiber, or 4 grams of available carbohydrates. In other words, honey roa Continue reading >>
Nuts Good For Some With Diabetes
July 8, 2011 -- Eating about 2 ounces of nuts daily in place of carbohydrates may be beneficial to people with type 2 diabetes by lowering bad cholesterol levels and improving blood sugar control, a new study shows. “There are two important factors in caring for diabetes: blood sugar control and heart health,” study researcher Cyril W.C. Kendall, PhD, of the University of Toronto, says in a news release. The study involved 117 people with type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to one of three groups. One group’s members ate about 2 ounces of mixed nuts daily, another a healthy muffin, and the third half nuts and half muffin. Researchers say those whose diet included 2 ounces of nuts showed better results after three months in both blood sugar and LDL "bad" cholesterol levels than participants in the other two groups. The nuts consisted of a mixture of unsalted and mostly raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews, and macadamias. The muffin was concocted to be a healthy whole wheat product, sweetened with apple concentrate but with no sugar added. The muffins had similar protein content to the nuts from the addition of egg white and skim milk powder. Calories from monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) in the nuts were the same as the carbohydrate calories in the muffin, the researchers write. During the three-month study, participants were asked to maintain their oral diabetes medications. The main outcome researchers looked for was change in a marker of blood sugar control called HbA1c. Kendall described the results of the study as “a very exciting and promising finding about the treatment” of type 2 diabetes. The researchers write that the reduction in the HbA1c level was significantly more in those in the nuts-only group than pa Continue reading >>
Diabetic Snacks: What To Eat And What To Skip
"Don't eat between meals." That's one piece of advice diabetics might want to take with a grain of salt. If you go more than four or five hours between meals, a mid-afternoon snack might be just what the doctor ordered to help you keep your blood sugar steady. Snacking is also important if you're taking medication that could cause a blood-sugar low between meals. Discuss with your doctor or a registered dietitian what snacking approach is right for you. Keep your snacks to 150 calories or less The danger of snacks is that they can become more like extra meals if you go overboard. First, make sure you're truly hungry—and not just bored or stressed or craving chocolate—before reaching for a snack. Then limit yourself to 150 calories per snack. (Cutting calories is easier than you think.) This will help keep your snacking "honest." After all, it's hard to find a candy bar with only 150 calories. And if you're hankering for a candy bar, but a healthier snack doesn't appeal, you're probably not truly hungry. Beware of low-fat snacks Studies show that people tend to eat about 28 percent more of a snack when it's low-fat because they think they're saving on calories. But low-fat snacks, such as cookies, only have about 11 percent fewer calories than their full-fat counterparts. Stick to the same amount you'd eat if you thought the snack was full-fat. Need more snack ideas? Check out these delicious snacks for adults. Check the ingredients Avoid heavily processed crackers and chips. If the list of ingredients is long and has big words with lots of syllables, put it back on the shelf. Stay away from these worst eating habits for diabetics. Watch those carbs Carbohydrates are major culprits when it comes to raising blood sugar (though there are some good carbs for diabetes). Continue reading >>
Nuts And Diabetes
Tweet Nuts provide a number of benefits for people with diabetes. Studies suggest that nuts may even decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that "nut consumption was associated with a decreased prevalence of selected risk factors for cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. This page explores the various benefits of nuts for people with type 2 diabetes. Do different nuts have different health benefits for people with diabetes? Yes. Some nuts have benefits that others don't. Almonds contain a lot of nutrients, particularly vitamin E Walnuts contain healthy omega-3 fatty acids Cashews offers lots of magnesium Almonds, peanuts, and pistachios all reduce 'bad' cholesterol Almost all nuts offer something good for people with diabetes. Salted nuts, however, should be avoided. Excessive salt consumption is consistently linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Nuts and cholesterol One of the most prominent characteristics of nuts for people with diabetes is their effect on cholesterol levels. Avoiding high cholesterol levels is essential for people with diabetes, because exposure to high blood glucose levels increases the risk of the arteries narrowing. Almonds, peanuts, and pistachios all reduce "bad" cholesterol very effectively. "Bad" cholesterol refers to small, dense particles of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), too much of which can clog the arteries. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and hazelnuts reduce "bad" cholesterol by increasing levels of high-density-lipoprotein (HDL), or 'good' cholesterol. HDL clears out 'bad' cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Nuts and the glycemic index (GI) The glycemic index measures the speed at which your body Continue reading >>
Those that suffer from diabetes mellitus know that regulating their diet is one of the most imperative means of controlling the disease’s ill-effects. Eating the right foods can help lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels to prevent the potential complications of the condition. Learn how dietary changes can improve your health, what changes to make, and how to make these changes with the information included below. Why Does Diet Help? Diabetes mellitus is a disease characterized by the body’s inability to effectively regulate the production of insulin, a hormone that regulates glucose in the bloodstream. Insulin is naturally produced in the pancreas, and it enables cells both to absorb glucose compounds from the bloodstream when needed and to store excess quantities of the sugar in the liver when they are not. Patients afflicted by diabetes mellitus lack sufficient insulin to perform these tasks due to insufficient production of the hormone, an inability to utilize the insulin that is produced, or some combination thereof. This inability to produce or utilize insulin may result in a buildup of glucose in the bloodstream that can consequently damage blood vessels throughout the body. This destruction, in turn, may lead to complications like heart disease, kidney disease, and stroke. When insulin is in short supply, in addition to taking injections of the hormone, patients may seek to prevent the damage caused by excess amounts of glucose by reducing their intake of foods that contain it. This doesn’t just mean avoiding foods with refined sugars like candy and soda, but it also requires patients to recognize foods that metabolize into glucose and to control the consumption of any substance that adds sugar to the bloodstream when digested. Regulati Continue reading >>
The Best Nuts For Diabetes
It's no surprise that nuts are heart-healthy but it's also possible that they are beneficial foods for individuals with diabetes. Research suggests that that consuming tree nuts, in conjunction with other dietary changes, can improve blood sugar levels in individuals with non-insulin dependent, or type 2, diabetes and also improve blood cholesterol levels in these individuals. If you have diabetes, be careful of nuts with added sugar in any form, such as honey or chocolate, since these components are high in simple carbohydrate. Mixed Nuts and Diabetes Several research studies have examined the potential benefits of consuming a mixture of different nuts for individuals with diabetes. In one study, published in "Diabetes Care" in 2011, researches found that subjects with type 2 diabetes had increased energy after consuming 2 ounces of mixed nuts daily, compared to a control group. These individuals also had changes that indicated their blood sugar was lower during the study and their levels of "bad," LDL-cholesterol also dropped. The researchers concluded that nuts are a good replacement for carbohydrate foods that can improve glycemic control and blood cholesterol. Almonds decrease post-meal blood sugar surges, according to a research study published in the "Journal of Nutrition" in 2006. Researchers fed 15 healthy subjects five meals comparable in carbohydrate, fat and protein content; three test meals that consisted of almonds, bread, boiled rice and instant mashed potatoes; and two control meals. Blood samples, taken pre-meal and four hours after each meal, showed that almonds lowered the rise in blood sugar and insulin levels four hours after eating. Additional research, published in "Metabolism" in 2007, showed that eating almonds with a high glycemic index food re Continue reading >>
Which Nuts Can A Diabetic Eat
Managing diabetes requires a number of lifestyle changes, including becoming more active and making changes in your diet. Often that means saying goodbye to foods you enjoy, but nuts aren't one you need to worry about. Not only can diabetics eat nuts, but they may actually help minimize the impact of some other health issues that often come along with diabetes. Depending on your condition and circumstances, there are several techniques you might use to manage your meals and their impact on your blood sugars and overall health. The American Diabetes Association favors counting the grams of carbs in your diet, while some people with diabetes monitor the glycemic index, or GI, of the foods they eat. If you're trying to lose weight, you might also be on a calorie-restricted plan. Nuts can play a role in your diet, whichever of these strategies you follow: Carb Counting: Most nuts have a low impact on your carb count. An ounce of walnuts contains only 4 grams of carbohydrates, almonds and peanuts have 6 grams, and cashews have 9 grams. Glycemic Index: The Glycemic Index, or GI, measures how quickly a food raises your blood sugar, and the lower the number the better, with any GI below 55 considered "low." Most nuts are very low: The GI of peanuts is 13, for example, and even cashews – relatively high in carbs, for a nut – have a GI of 22. * Calorie Counting: Nuts are more problematic in a weight-loss scenario, because they're high in calories. An ounce of walnuts contains 185 calories, for example, and almonds contain 170. However, their combination of protein, healthy fats and fiber make them a filling and healthful snack, and may help you stay away from less-virtuous foods. Nuts and Health Benefits "First, do no harm" is a fundamental principle in medicine, but nuts go Continue reading >>
Are Nuts Good Or Bad For Diabetes?
Nuts! Can nuts help prevent diabetes? Can nuts help control diabetes? Are nuts a healthy snack or just another fad? Should you include nuts in your diet? The simple answer is yes—though, read on, because there are some caveats (aren’t there always…) to the simple “yes” answer. What are Nuts? Nuts are seeds in a hard shell and are the seeds of various trees. These nuts are commonly called tree nuts. Botanically, nuts are also those where the shell does not break apart to release the nuts—these shells have to get broken to free the nut. However, for the sake of this article, the more general use of nuts—those in hard shells that need to be broken (chestnuts and hazelnuts) and other nuts that technically are legumes (like the peanut) and seeds (eg. Pecans, Almonds) are included. Some of the more common nuts are: Hazelnuts/Filberts Brazil nuts Almonds Cashews Chestnuts Peanuts Pine nuts Walnuts Macadamia nuts Pistachios Coconuts Acorns The USDA’s “Choose My Plate” program designed to help people make healthy eating choices included nuts in the Protein Foods Group, but nuts are high in a number of other nutrients as well, including fiber, the heart healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, healthy omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals. Nuts are also high in anti-oxidants. One thing to note is that nuts are also high in calories. However, while noting that, it is also important to remember that while you DO want to watch your calories, you are getting an awful lot of healthy nutrition along with those calories and are NOT getting a lot of sugars, cholesterol or unhealthy fats (the sorts of unhealthy saturated fats that can clog up arteries). The way you can get the health benefits of nuts without paying a large “calorie price” is to use nuts a Continue reading >>
Nuts Will Change Your Life
Last year everyone was talking about how good nuts are for diabetes. This year they’re just as good, and new research shows it. If you aren’t eating lots of nuts yet, I’m going to try to get you started. Nuts are great because they are seeds and fruit combined. They are literally full of life. According to Wikipedia, while fruit seeds are separate from the fruit itself, in nuts (according to the botanical definition of the term), the seeds and fruit (which the seed will use to grow if planted) are bound up together, making them among the most nutritious foods on the planet. New research from Louisiana State University found that people who regularly eat tree nuts — including almonds, macadamias, pistachios, walnuts, and cashews — have lower risks for Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Their C-reactive protein (a major marker of inflammation) levels were lower. Their HDL (“good cholesterol”) levels were higher. According to The Huffington Post, the study was funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation. Study results often show what the funders wanted them to show, but I tend to believe this one. It appeared in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition and was based on analyzing data from NHANES, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the gold standard for this kind of study in the US. This research confirms dozens of other studies. As Web Editor Diane Fennell wrote in 2011, “Nuts are well known for their nutritional benefits, including their high levels of heart-healthy fats, protein, antioxidants…, plant sterols (natural substances found in plants that can help lower cholesterol), fiber, and minerals.” Nutritionist Amy Campbell explained in this article that nuts are good because they h Continue reading >>
Diabetes And Almonds: What You Need To Know
Almonds may be bite-sized, but these nuts pack a big nutritional punch. They’re an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E and manganese. They’re also a good source of: In fact, “almonds are actually one of the highest protein sources among tree nuts,” said Peggy O’Shea-Kochenbach, MBA, RDN, LDN, a dietitian and consultant in Boston. Almonds, while nutritionally beneficial for most people, are especially good for people with diabetes. “Research has shown that almonds may reduce the rise in glucose (blood sugar) and insulin levels after meals,” said O’Shea-Kochenbach. In a 2011 study, researchers found that the consumption of 2 ounces of almonds was associated with lower levels of fasting insulin and fasting glucose. This amount consists of about 45 almonds. The key in this study is that the participants reduced their caloric intake by enough to accommodate the addition of the almonds so that no extra calories were consumed. A 2010 study found that eating almonds may help increase insulin sensitivity in people with prediabetes. Almonds and magnesium Almonds are high in magnesium. Experimental studies have suggested that dietary magnesium intake may reduce a person’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In a 2012 study, researchers found that long-term high blood sugar levels may cause a loss of magnesium via urine. Because of this, people with diabetes may be at a greater risk for magnesium deficiency. Learn more about mineral deficiencies. Almonds and your heart Almonds may reduce your risk of heart disease. This is important for people with diabetes. According to the World Heart Federation, people with diabetes are at a higher risk of heart disease. “Almonds are high in monounsaturated fat,” said O’Shea-Kochenbach, Continue reading >>
Problem Foods: Should Diabetics Eat Nuts?
Amy Reeder is a Certified Diabetes Educator with a master’s degree in nutrition from the University of Utah. She has worked in the diabetes field since 2005 and has been a Certified Diabetes Educator since 2007. All nuts can be part of a healthy diet. Nuts are made up of protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and fat—the healthy kind of fat. Approximately 50 to 80 percent of a nut is fat, and most of it is healthy monounsaturated and/or polyunsaturated fat. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the healthy adult population should get 20 to 35 percent of their food intake from dietary fat, with increased consumption of polyunsaturated fats and limited intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Regular consumption of nuts and seeds that contain polyunsaturated fats, in particular, can provide health benefits that foods containing saturated and trans fats can’t. The quality of the fat in your diet is just as important as the quantity of fat in your diet. Because nuts are high in fat, they are also high in calories. You can eat nuts (and seeds) to replace servings of meat and poultry, and/or consume nuts in small portions. A good serving size would be equal to a single layer on a square sticky note. Several studies have reported the benefits of walnuts and a variety of other nuts in the diet in relation to cardiac health. Nuts appear to lower lipid levels, decrease inflammation, and decrease blood pressure in those with elevated cholesterol. All of these results translate into a healthier heart. Examples of nuts that are a good source of polyunsaturated fats are walnuts, dried pine nuts, cashews, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and peanuts (peanuts are technically not a nut, but a member of the legume family) Continue reading >>