Getting a diagnosis of pre-diabetes isn’t a life sentence. In fact, as I told you earlier this week, a new study found that most people diagnosed with “pre-diabetes” never go on to develop full-blown diabetes. So, clearly, there’s a lot you can do (without taking drugs) to make sure you never develop dangerously high blood sugar.
And that includes snacking on nuts.
Over the years, numerous studies have shown that eating nuts helps you feel more satisfied, maintain a healthy weight, and improve blood sugar control. And Harvard researchers have found that people who eat just one ounce (about a handful) of nuts five times a week have a 27 percent lower risk of ever developing Type II diabetes.
Plus, a brand new study published in Circulation Research has found that eating nuts can help prevent heart disease…even if you’ve already been diagnosed with full-blown Type II diabetes. Of course, heart disease is a common secondary diagnosis in people with Type II diabetes. So, this finding holds a lot of promise for a lot of people…
All it takes is a handful of nuts a day
For this study, researchers asked 16,000 people diagnosed with Type II diabetes about their nut consumption.
It turns out, people who ate about a handful of nuts five times a week, compared to those who had less than one serving per week, had a:
- 17 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease
- 20 percent lower risk of suffering a cardiac incident—such as heart attack or stroke
- 34 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
- 31 percent lower overall risk of dying from any cause
The most beneficial nuts in this study were tree nuts—such as almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts. Eating peanuts in this study didn’t lower cardiovascular risk, specifically. But it did lower overall mortality risk. And other studies have linked peanuts to as many health benefits as tree nuts.
Eating nuts supports optimal nutrition
Of course, nuts are potent sources of healthy, unsaturated fats, fiber, and minerals. These constituents, in turn, help balance blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, inflammation, and triglycerides (fats in the blood). In fact, almonds and hazelnuts raise HDL or “good” cholesterol. Macadamia nuts balance cholesterol. And pistachios have been show to lower triglycerides in people with diabetes and in obese people.
Nuts also contain antioxidants, such as polyphenols, which counter oxidative stress and protect cells against damage. These effects are thought to contribute to healthy aging.
Additionally, nuts support your microbiome, the environment in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract where billions of healthy probiotic bacteria thrive. And more and more research connects a healthy microbiome to the prevention of many chronic diseases, including Type II diabetes.
In a recent interview, my colleague, the innovative Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D. (whom I knew in Washington, D.C., and is now in Florida too), recommended snacking on a handful of nuts daily. And that’s my recommendation too…based on the science.
So, when you’re outside this fall, enjoying Nature’s beautiful colors, carry some nuts along with you. They make an excellent trail mix. Just be sure to make the mix yourself to avoid the added, artificial ingredients.
And if you’d like to learn more about the many health benefits nuts have to offer, take a look at the December 2018 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures (“This decorative holiday snack ‘cracks the code’ to lower blood sugar”). Not yet a subscriber? No problem…all it takes is one click!
P.S. This weekend, I’m thrilled to announce the long-awaited release of my brand new Breathe Better Lung Health Protocol. This innovative, online learning tool discusses all of the science-backed, natural ways to prevent and reverse lung disease. So keep your eye out for an email with all of the details!
“Nut Consumption in Relation to Cardiovascular Disease Incidence and Mortality Among Patients With Diabetes Mellitus.” Circulation Research 2019;124:920–929. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.314316
“Nuts Reduce Risk of Diabetes, Heart Disease.” Newsmax, 5/7/2019. (newsmax.com/health/health-news/nuts-cardiovascular-disease-type-2-diabetes/2019/05/07/id/914861/)