Diabetes: The small snack associated with ‘marked’ decrease in blood sugar – study

Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks

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Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition characterised by impaired insulin production. Deprived of this crucial mechanism, your blood sugar levels can reach soaring heights. Fortunately, food could be a means of controlling the culprit.

If you like to snack, going for nuts is obviously better than reaching for a pack of crisps or a chocolate bar.

However, a certain nut could help significantly lower your blood sugar levels, according to a study, published in the journal The Review of Diabetic Studies.

The researchers set out to investigate the effects of pistachios on blood sugar and inflammation in patients with type 2 diabetes.

The team hypothesised that nuts might be able to reduce high blood sugar as well as improve metabolism due to their unsaturated fat content.

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Including 48 diabetic patients, they divided the subjects into two groups A and B.

The patients in group A had to eat 25 grams of pistachio nut twice a day for 12 weeks, while the other group only had a control meal without the green snack.

After following this regimen, the groups had an eight week break and eventually swapped.

The research found a “marked” decrease in fasting blood sugar levels in those who ate pistachios.

The analysis saw blood glucose reduced by 14 mg/dl. In case you’re not aware, blood sugar levels should be less than 140 mg/dl, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Furthermore, there were no “significant” differences seen in the control group.

Apart from lower blood sugar levels, pistachios also reduced blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) in the participants.

The study concluded: “Dietary consumption of pistachio nuts as a snack has beneficial effects on glycaemic control, blood pressure, obesity, and inflammation markers in diabetic patients.”

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What’s more, this study isn’t the only one echoing the benefits of the green nuts.

Diabetes.co.uk also labelled pistachio as “an ideal healthy snack” due to its blood sugar lowering properties.

The portal even shared expertise from researchers at the University of Toronto, who said: “Pistachio, when eaten with high carbohydrate food items like white bread, may actually slow the absorption of carbohydrates in the body, resulting in a lower than expected blood sugar level.

“Therefore, these nuts can help control diabetes.”

What are the symptoms of type 2 diabetes?

The tricky part about the symptoms of the blood sugar condition is their ambiguity. Fortunately, knowing what to look for could help.

The main symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual (especially at night)
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds healing slowly
  • Blurred vision.

The health service advises seeing a GP if you suffer from any of these symptoms or you’re worried that you may have a higher risk of the condition.

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