Improve Blood Sugar with This Snack

Medically reviewed in February 2021

Control your blood sugar by pushing aside the whole-grain muffins and grabbing this for your midmorning snack: a handful of mixed nuts.

In a small study of people with type 2 diabetes, eating just 2 ounces of nuts daily—as a replacement for carbohydrates—helped improve blood sugar control.

Crunch on This
For 3 months, test subjects ate their usual diets but were given either a daily dose of nuts, a mix of nuts and muffins or just muffins as a snack—each with the same calorie count. And the muffins were "healthy"—made with whole-wheat flour and sweetened with apple juice concentrate. Surprisingly, the group that ate the nuts—a mix of raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews and macadamias—experienced the best improvement in blood sugar control. (Find out how eating right can help ADHD brains focus.)

Go Nuts
As a bonus, the nut snackers also experienced a drop in their LDL (or "bad") cholesterol. Same for the half nuts/half muffins group, although their cholesterol drop wasn't as big. Researchers suspect that the combination of unsaturated fat and low carbs in nuts may have a positive impact on diabetes. And other studies have revealed that noshing on nuts can help people lose weight and reduce their risk for heart disease to boot.

Worried about the calories in nuts? Discover why nuts are the perfect choice for weight control.

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