Looking for a tasty snack that can help you manage your blood sugar? Try some nuts! Nuts are a power food in a tiny package, loaded with nutrients that are good for anyone trying to eat healthy, but they have special benefits for those with type 2 diabetes.
All nuts supply you with protein and fiber that will satisfy your hunger and even suppress your appetite. Here are some of the great choices you can try the next time you need a healthy snack:
- Almonds are the most nutrient-dense nuts and are very high in vitamin E
- Pistachios (yum!) are the lowest in calories and have the most potassium and vitamin K
- Brazil nuts are high in selenium and good for promoting heart health
- Hazelnuts are loaded with manganese, potassium, copper, iron and calcium
- Macadamia nuts are heart-friendly and full of B complex vitamins
- Pecans can help you lower your bad cholesterol while boosting your good cholesterol levels
- Walnuts are full of alpha-linoleic acid, a type of omega 3 fatty acid
- Cashews are packed with magnesium, which is known to help lower glucose levels
- Peanuts, while actually a legume, are another good choice for a snack and are high in folate, which is good for your brain.
Nuts are low on the glycemic index, which ranks foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels. There are studies that show that eating some nuts with a high glycemic index food such as pasta, rice or bread, can actually slow the process of digestion and help stabilize blood sugar levels.
Nuts often get a bad rap for being high in calories and fat, but while they are high in calories, the fat in nuts is healthy and just a small amount of nuts can feel very satisfying.
All nuts are rich in nutrients, fiber, vitamins and minerals, proving that good things definitely come in small packages!
Four Tips for Enjoying Nuts
- Remember to keep to the recommended portion size of two ounces per serving
- Choose raw, unsalted nuts for the most health benefits
- If you’re afraid you’ll eat too many at once, you can get nuts in the shell– cracking them open will slow you down
- If you buy nuts in bulk, make your own two-ounce snack bags to have on hand whenever you need a snack at home or on the go. They’re the perfect thing to keep handy for a delicious and nutritious snack!
For other healthy snack ideas, read our article about healthy snacking for people with diabetes— bon appetit!