While at one time, long ago in the past, nuts were looked down upon as a food item for the diabetic menu because of their relatively high fat content, that is no longer the case. The inclusion of nuts in the weekly diet is encouraged, for the diabetic and for all who can tolerate them without suffering allergies. Relevant to the diabetic, well-known studies published by the Harvard School of Public Health regarding dietary fats state that dietary fats are not associated with increased type-2 diabetes risk in women and the findings indicated that a higher intake of polyunsaturated and long-chain fatty acids could possibly add benefits and lower diabetes risks.
So what can nuts and seeds add to the diabetic menu
In the first place the body needs fats. Especially beneficial are the so-called “good fats”, the polyunsaturated and omega fatty acids that are found in nuts and seeds — much preferred compared with the saturated fats found in junk foods. Most nuts only contain between 5 and 15% of their total fat in the less desirable form of saturated fat.
Nuts have an abundance of monounsaturated fats that help stabilize blood sugars, something desired by all who have diabetes, and they are beneficial for the heart, important when we know that diabetes frequently leads to heart problems and cardiovascular disease. Nuts contain lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and for those who do not eat much fish (which is a highly recommended source of omega 3’s) walnuts provide a healthy alternative. Check this link foor more on Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Almonds provide vitamin E, calcium and other minerals and an ounce of almonds — about 20 or so — have as much fiber as a cupful of strawberries, but also include strawberries in the diabetic menu anyway, they too have and abundance of vitamins and minerals.
Brazil nuts, a tasty snack food, contain selenium, a frequently recommended mineral supplement that is thought to be deficient in the body’s of some diabetics. There is more selenium in brazil nuts than almost any other food.
Nuts, beneficial to the heart
Inflammation is a major factor in heart disease and it is believed that frequent nut consumption can help lower the inflammation that contributes to heart disease and the arginine content found in nuts may help relax blood vessels and improve blood flow to thereby lower the risk of heart attack.
However, watch the calories
Nuts are high in calories relative to their size because of their fat content so don’t become too enthusiastic, it is best not to overindulge, tasty as they are. A small serving of about 1 ounce, 30 grams, should suffice, eaten in that quantity several times a week.
For more on a wide range of topics on the diabetic meal planning, please visit Diabetic Menu Guide.
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