Nuts Improve Blood Sugar and Cholesterol in Diabetics

Eating nuts improves blood sugar control and cholesterol levels in type 2 diabetics, according to a research report in Diabetes Care.

Canadian researchers randomized 117 type 2 diabetics to eat their usual types of food, but also to be sure to eat either

  • mixed nuts (about 2 ounces a day)
  • muffins (I figure one a day)
  • or half portions of each.

They did this daily for three months. Compared to the muffin group, the full nut group ate quite a bit more monounsaturated fatty acids. (I don’t have full study details because I have access only to the article abstract.)


Hemoglobin A1c, a reliable measure of blood sugar control, fell by 0.21% in the mixed nut group. That’s a move in the right direction. LDL cholesterol, the “bad cholesterol” linked to heart and vascular disease, also dropped significantly.

So What?

The investigators suggest that replacement of certain carbohydrates with 2 ounces of daily mixed nuts is good for people with type 2 diabetes.

I must mention that nuts are a mandatory component of the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet and the Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, and a recommended option on the Advanced Mediterranean Diet.

Steve Parker, M.D.

References: Jenkins, David J.A., et al. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care, June 29, 2011. doi: 10.2337/dc11-0338

PS: The lead author of this study is the same David Jenkins of glycemic index fame.

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