Eating a daily handful of almonds, cashews, and walnuts stabilises the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics, study finds

  • Just 75g of mixed nuts significantly improves patients’ blood sugar control
  • The snack also reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol and may lower the risk of heart disease
  • Results show the importance of unsaturated fat in type 2 diabetes patients’ diets
  • Around 3.5 million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes
  • Of those with a diagnosis, more than 90% of patients have type 2
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Eating a handful of almonds, cashews and walnuts every day stabilises blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, new research suggests.

Just 75g of mixed, unsalted nuts significantly improves patients’ blood sugar control, a Canadian study found.

The snack also reduces so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol and lowers levels of a protein associated with heart disease, known as Apo-B, the research adds.

The researchers believe their findings highlight the importance of unsaturated fat and low carbohydrate intakes for type 2 diabetes control.

Around 3.5 million people in the UK are diagnosed with diabetes, of which approximately 90 per cent have type 2. 

Handful of nuts a day stabilises blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes (stock)


Watching television for three or more hours a day may increase a child’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research suggested in July 2017.

Children who spend at least three hours in front of a screen are heavier and have greater insulin resistance, a study found. Both of these are risk factors for the condition.

Such youngsters also produce impaired amounts of the hormone leptin, the research adds. Leptin is involved in regulating appetite.

These results remained even after the study’s participant’s activity levels were taken into account, the study found.

Study author Dr Claire Nightingale from St George’s, University of London, said: ‘Our findings suggest that reducing screen time may be beneficial in reducing type 2 diabetes risk factors, in both boys and girls, from an early age.

‘This is particularly relevant, given rising levels of type 2 diabetes, the early emergence of type 2 diabetes risk, and recent trends suggesting screen-related activities are increasing in childhood.’ 

The researchers analysed 4,495 children aged between nine and 10 years old.

The children were assessed for factors that influence their risk of developing diabetes.

Their body proportions, activity levels and the amount of time they spend in front of a screen – either watching television or using a computer – every day were also recorded.  

How the research was carried out 

The researchers, from the University of Toronto, analysed 117 adults with type 2 diabetes who were on medication to lower their blood glucose levels.

Some of the participants ate 75g of mixed nuts, others had three wholewheat muffins and the remainder ate half of each every day for three months. 

All of their diets contained a similar number of calories, however, the nuts provided more unsaturated fat and less carbohydrate.  

The participants’ blood glucose levels were assessed around every two weeks. 

The mixed nuts mainly consisted of unsalted and mostly raw almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews and macadamias.  

The findings were published in the journal Diabetologia. 

Swapping one portion of meat for a handful of nuts a day slashes the risk of an early death 

This comes after research released last July suggested swapping just one portion of meat for a handful of nuts a day slashes the risk of an early death by up to 17 percent.

A 20 percent improvement in people’s diets reduces their risk of dying prematurely by between eight and 17 percent, a study found.

This is the equivalent of swapping just one serving of meat for a handful of nuts or a tablespoon of peanut butter a day, the research adds.

Lead author Dr Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, from Ohio University, said: ‘It’s not necessary for people to conform to a single dietary plan to achieve a healthy eating pattern.

‘The essential elements of a healthy diet include higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans, and lower intakes of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and highly refined grains, like white rice and flour.’

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