New evidence suggests nuts may improve blood lipid levels and possibly blood sugar levels in individuals with non-insulin dependent diabetes.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Toronto and St. Michaels Hospital and looked at 117 adults with a mean age of 62 years who were all being treated with oral hypoglycemic medications.
They were randomly divided into three groups and each was assigned a diet that included a supplement of 75g of mixed nuts, or 38g of mixed nuts and a half portion of muffins or a diet which contained a full portion of muffins.
The study revealed those who ate a full dose of nuts had significantly reduced LDL and total cholesterol levels compared to the full dose muffin group.
In addition to that, there was a significant reduction in HbA1c in those who ate a full dose of nuts.
HbA1c is a measure of glycated hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells formed when blood sugar attaches to hemoglobin.
“This is the largest study done to date looking at the effect of tree nuts and peanuts on Type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Cyril Kendall of the University of Toronto.
“If improvements in glycemic control can be achieved by dietary changes, this would make a substantial contribution to the treatment of [the condition],” he adds.
The nuts that were part of the experimental mix included almonds, brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, macadamias and walnuts.