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Tree Nuts May Help Diabetics Manage Blood Sugar

A huge part of a diabetic’s life is monitoring their blood sugar levels, also known as glycemic control. A recent study suggests that eating tree nuts on a daily basis may improve glycemic control in diabetics.

For this study, researchers examined data from 12 randomized controlled dietary trials comparing diets including tree nuts with diets without tree nuts. The researchers looked at the effect the tree nuts had on Hb1ac, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and/or HOMA-IR in a total of 450 primarily middle-aged adults.

The tree nuts included looked at in the studies were almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, and cashews.

After analyzing the data, the researchers found that a daily median intake of 56 grams of tree nuts over an eight week period significantly lowered HbA1c and fasting glucose in people with type 2 diabetes when compared with control diets. They did not notice statistically significant effects for fasting insulin or HOMA-IR but did see a trend favoring tree nuts.

Researchers from the University of Toronto conducted the study. It was published on July 30, 2014, in the journal PLOS One.

Tree nuts include almonds, macadamias, pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. They are a rich source of magnesium, vitamin E, protein and beneficial phytochemicals. Numerous studies have associated phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.

In the United States, tree nuts are typically consumed in the form of snack food. If you want to add more tree nuts to your diet, you replace unhealthy snacks such as chips and candy bars with raw, unsalted tree nuts.

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