blood sugar

Nuts May Help Lower and Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

Tree nut consumption may lower blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients compared to individuals on a control diet, according to a recent study funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation and Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

While nuts are high in fat, they are a healthy, unsaturated fat. While they can be high in calories, participants in the clinical trials did not experience weight gain, according to John Sievenpiper, MD, the study’s lead author and researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre at St. Michael’s Hospital.

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Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 450 participants and 12 different clinical trials. 

The study showed that consuming 2 servings of tree nuts (1 serving =30 g) daily, improved 2 markers of blood sugar: the fasting glucose test and the HbA1c test.

According to researchers, the HbA1c test measures blood sugar levels over a 3-month period, while the fasting glucose test does not allow participants to eat or drink anything (except water) for 8 hours prior to testing.

The results further showed that the best outcomes for stable blood sugar levels occurred when tree nuts replaced any refined carbohydrates instead of saturated fats.

Investigators identified tree nuts as cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, and almonds.

The complete study is published in the July issue of Plos One.

-Michelle Canales


St. Michael’s Hospital. New studies indicate benefits of eating tree nuts. July 30, 2014. Accessed August 1, 2014.