Top 25 Power Foods for Diabetes
In a nutshell, nuts are one of the healthiest food choices you can make. According to the Mayo Clinic, most nuts contain at least one or more of these heart-healthy substances: unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, plant sterols, and L-arginine, which makes artery walls more flexible and less prone to blood clots.
There is also increasing evidence that nuts can improve blood sugar control in type 2 diabetes. In a Canadian study published in Diabetes Care in 2011, researchers found people with type 2 diabetes who ate 2 ounces of mixed nuts daily saw a decrease in blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol. The study was funded in part by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research Foundation and the Almond Board of California, among other supporters.
Because they don't require refrigeration and are highly portable, nuts are a great snack choice. One caution: Because nuts are high in calories, it's best to portion them before eating, rather than eating them out of a bag or can. Serving sizes:
• Almonds, cashews, or mixed nuts 6 nuts
• Peanuts 10 nuts
• Pecans 4 halves
• Hazelnuts 5 nuts
• Pistachios 12 nuts
Nut butters, such as peanut butter and almond butter, are other ways to enjoy nuts' health benefits. The serving size is 1 tablespoon, which also works as a meat/protein replacement.
Avoid salted, sugared, honeyed, or chocolate-covered varieties, because they add calories, carbs, and salt.