This time of year, nutcrackers aren’t just for making “suite” music.
Using your holiday nutcracker for its intended purpose will yield big benefits for your health. In fact, nuts should be part of your diet year-round. They’re chock full of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Studies show just a handful of nuts a day can help lower your risk of dementia, diabetes, heart disease, and more. And now there’s new research showing that nuts can also significantly reduce blood sugar levels.
Nuts are No. 1 for heart health
Canadian researchers observed 117 men and women, with an average age of 62 and Type II diabetes. The participants were divided into three groups, and each group followed a specific diet for three months:
• Group 1 consumed half a cup of tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts) as well as peanuts every day.
• Group 2 consumed a quarter cup of these nuts, along with 1.5 whole-wheat muffins daily.
• Group 3 ate three whole wheat-muffins per day, and no nuts.
All participants consumed about the same amount of total calories, but tests showed those groups who ate nuts absorbed more fats and fewer carbs.
Group 1 (the full-dose nut group) also had a significant reduction in hemoglobin A1C (a long-term measure of blood sugar), and LDL “bad” cholesterol.
Why nuts aren’t junk food
This nut study busts a lot of myths. First of all, mainstream doctors once considered nuts “junk food” because they’re relatively high in fat and calories. But this study shows that the higher healthy fats in nuts lead to lower blood sugar and cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.
Another myth is that peanuts aren’t as healthy as more costly tree nuts (feeding the narrative that healthy diets are too expensive). But here’s another study showing peanuts are just as effective as any other nut for your health.
Finally, eating a whopping three servings of whole-wheat muffins a day made no difference in the study participants’ blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The big food manufacturers, in league with their crony corporatist co-dependents in mainstream medicine, want us to believe that eating a bunch of wheat is somehow “heart healthy.”
The truth is that whole grain wheat can be good for your heart in moderation—meaning one serving a day. But too many carbs aren’t healthy for your heart, or any other part of your body for that matter. Anyone who wants you to think that eating more carbs is a good idea is “nuts,” according to the science.
In fact, the study researchers actually recommend that nuts be substituted for carbohydrate-rich foods. For example, you can find delicious nut-based crackers, instead of eating wheat- and grain-based crackers.
So make sure your diet is “chock full of nuts.” But stay away from those kinds with artificial ingredients—especially sugar. Instead, buy raw nuts and spice them up with paprika, black pepper, and other tasty, natural flavors.
You’ll reap the benefits of these healthy spices as well. Not to mention, spiced nuts make for a delightful, and nutritious, holiday gift.
1“Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet: a reanalysis of a randomised controlled trial.” Diabetologia (2018) 61: 1734.