is walnut good for diabetes
Nutrition

Walnuts and Diabetics - Everything you need to know

Walnuts are the most popular nuts that kids in India are fed by their parents as a part of a healthy snack that would help them remember more and remember better. Technically, nuts of all kinds come under the ‘healthy eating regime’ as we are all aware of their benefits. If you are specifically looking for food that is friendly for diabetes, and are looking to answer the question “is walnut good for diabetes” you can find your answer here. 

Essentially, nuts have a plethora of nutrients to offer. They are healthy and do a lot of good for the growing body. They promote good health and are even known to ward off fatal conditions like heart issues. Walnuts and almonds are two of the most popular nuts in India that people prefer to eat owing to their several properties.

Are Walnuts Good for Diabetics?

This is an important question that, if you are living with diabetes, even you would want to know the answer to. Already, the limitations an individual with diabetes has to deal with are more than one could imagine. On top of that, when you are not only restricted to eating some of your favorite foods but are also expected to question, research, and thoroughly read about any and every category of food you consume to be sure, it can get no less than frustrating. Are walnuts good for people with diabetes is another common question that might pop up in your mind if you are looking to create a diet plan for yourself with healthy food in it.

What are walnuts?

To understand what is walnut good for diabetes, it is first important to see what walnuts are exactly. While you might already be familiar with them, another introduction would not hurt. Popularly known as the brain-shaped nuts, these come in a round and colored outer covering or shell which is super tough to crack. The actual nut is wrinkly, which is why it resembles a brain. These grow on trees and are known to be one of the most widely consumed and well-enjoyed nuts. Walnuts, also, have different species. The most common varieties that are beloved by most are English, Persian, or the California black walnut (this particular one has a much richer flavor)

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What nutrients are in walnuts?

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you will be looking for food groups with a lot of nutrients. To obtain the answer to the question - is walnuts good for people with diabetes, let us have a look at the nutrition profile walnuts seem to offer. 

In one ounce or 12-14 halves of a walnut, the nutritional profile would look as such:

  • Calories – 190
  • Carbs – 4gms
  • Fat – 18gms (of which unsaturated fats – 13gms, saturated fats – 1.5gms)
  • Protein – 4gms
  • Fiber – 2gms
  • Sodium – 0mg

California walnut board, wherein most of the US walnuts grow, calls these nuts “the powerhouse of important nutrients for optimum health”. This effectively states that walnuts are good for diabetes. 

Other nutrients like – magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, etc are also found in walnuts.

Health benefits of walnuts

One of the major reasons that help you understand walnuts are good for people with diabetes are the health benefits they provide. They keep your heart healthy, which is always great whether or not you have diabetes. The cholesterol levels witness a huge drop with the increased consumption of walnuts. This further proved its benefits against heart diseases.

  • Lowering of total and LDL cholesterol
  • Lower apoprotein B (linked to heart diseases)
  • Lower blood fats

Along with these, there are a few more benefits that walnuts provide with regard to the maintenance of good health. With the lower incidence of heart diseases along with the presence of plant proteins, minerals, and vitamins, walnuts provide protection against high blood pressure and also cancer. The numerous benefits of these nuts make them a staple in each household. It also works well as a preventative measure.

Diabetes and diabetes prevention

Is walnut good for diabetes is a question that can finally be answered here. The foods that any person living with diabetes consumes impact their blood sugar levels. Walnuts are diabetes-friendly. They do not cause a significant spike in blood sugar levels since they are low in carbs.

Even people with prediabetes can consume walnuts freely. They can benefit from the lack of spikes in blood sugar levels and can swap walnuts for other high-carb foods like bread, noodles, etc. Walnuts are also associated with a low risk of the development of T2D. Can people with diabetes eat walnuts? Yes. Also, these are good preventative measures too.

Weight control

Most kinds of nuts work well to help people reduce or even maintain a healthy weight. This is because nuts, like walnuts, are filled with fat, fiber, and proteins, making you feel full for a longer duration. To maintain your weight, eat walnuts regularly or swap fatty food with them to achieve the aim to lower your weight. 

Bone health

Are walnuts good for type 2 diabetes? Yes, in several ways – especially to keep the bone health intact. People with diabetes often succumb to brittle bones and osteoporosis is a common comorbidity. Walnuts, and their copper, magnesium, and manganese content helps to promote bone density and improve the strength of the bones. For healthy and strong bones, walnuts and their natural minerals are a must. 

Gut health

Other benefits that walnuts might bring to a person’s health would be by increasing the presence of certain types of bacteria in the gut and digestive tract. These bacteria further worked to lower the overall blood pressure and cholesterol levels. This answers the queries regarding can we eat walnuts in diabetes since it has a direct impact not only on blood sugars but also on the other conditions associated with poor HbA1c control.

Brain health

One of the biggest reasons for the fame of walnuts is due to the positive and healthy impact it has on brain functioning. The most common reasons for the overall consumption of walnuts, particularly in childhood, were to improve memory and maintain a healthy brain. The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties present in walnuts make them a good source for a healthy brain. Can people with diabetes eat almonds and walnuts – of course, as they provide the required nutrition to the brain! Moreover, including walnuts in the diet also was associated with lower levels of depression, and higher cognitive functions like memory, concentration, and information processing. 

Fitting walnuts into your eating plan

Now that you have seen how beneficial walnuts are for each irrespective of their health condition, let’s figure out how you can incorporate them into your diet plan. Walnut is good for diabetes and non-diabetes alike. 

  • As an evening snack along with a fruit 
  • Grated or chopped into fine pieces over salads, yogurt, oatmeal, etc
  • Over dark chocolate pudding made with stevia.
  • Plain walnuts as dry fruits along with almonds, cashews, and milk. 

A few walnuts every day are known to bring about several benefits that one can reap.

Have a look on our recommended list of best dry fruits for diabetes.

Bottomline

Walnuts are important and healthy for a balanced diet plan. These are low-carb foods rich in antioxidants which provide numerous health benefits to people with diabetes and even people without diabetes. Anyone diagnosed with any issues related to the heart can also eat walnuts to ensure the best health. Include a few walnuts in the diet plan each day for the best results.

FAQs

1. How many walnuts should a diabetic eat daily? 

Walnuts are highly nutritious and beneficial for a person with diabetes owing to their high fiber content. About 3-4 tablespoons of walnuts can be consumed daily. They are also known to lower the risk for heart diseases.

2. Do walnuts spike insulin? 

Walnuts do not spike the sugar levels in the body and neither do they result in an increased production of the hormone – insulin. However, the daily consumption of walnuts is known to be associated with better sensitivity toward insulin and reduced risk for the development of type 2 diabetes. They also help to reduce weight.

3. Do walnuts lower A1C?

Walnuts are a good source of fiber and protein. They curb the excess hunger cravings and, therefore, are associated with a moderate and necessary intake of food. Walnuts are high in alpha-linolenic acid which plays a role in the reduction of HbA1c levels. It is still under investigation whether walnuts directly reduce HbA1c or not.

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