Are Pistachios Good For Diabetics (7 Benefits)

If you are a diabetic, you may be wondering if pistachios are a good snack choice. This article will explore the nutritional benefits of pistachios for people with diabetes and provide tips on including them in your diet, based on recent scientific research. Enjoy!

7 Benefits of pistachios for diabetics

Here are seven simple reasons why pistachios are good for diabetics.

Benefit #1: Pistachios can reduce blood sugar levels and lower a1c in diabetics

Pistachios have a low glycemic index of 15, making them safe for diabetics, and many studies have proven that eating pistachios can help lower blood glucose levels.

Pistachios have both glucagonostatic and insulinotropic effects due to the polyphenols in them, which improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The pistachios also have a high content of polyunsaturated fats and are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats, which help you keep fuller for a longer time.

A study published in the journal Review of Diabetic Studies, found that people with diabetes who eat pistachios regularly get lower blood sugar levels than those who do not. The study was conducted on 34 adults with type 2 diabetes who were healthy and had not taken any diabetes medication.

This study found that those who took pistachio in their diet had better blood sugar control than those who did not. The decreased glucose level remained for six months after taking them out of their diet compared with the first measurement recorded before they started eating pistachios.

Benefit #2: Pistachios can fight inflammation and reduce oxidative stress

The high antioxidants in pistachios help fight inflammation and prevent oxidative damage. Pistachios can reduce oxidation as they have polyphenols like quercetin which can help prevent damage to cells due to free radicals.

Recent studies have shown that pistachios reduce inflammation and oxidative stress and lower cholesterol levels and maintain body weight, making them one of the best foods for diabetics.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and an important antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage. Pistachios are a rich source of vitamin E, with one ounce providing 10 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Benefit #3: Pistachios can help manage heart health in diabetics

Eating pistachios can help improve heart health in diabetics. The monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats in pistachios help reduce bad cholesterol levels and maintain heart health.

A study published in the journal Nutrients, which looked at the effects of pistachios on adults with type 2 diabetes, found that those who consumed pistachios had significant reductions in their levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol.

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They also had a significant increase in their HDL cholesterol levels, a healthy fat. The antioxidants present in pistachios can reduce blood pressure and inflammation throughout the body, making them good for heart health and preventing complications.

Benefit #4: Pistachios can help with weight loss and management

Pistachios are a rich source of protein and fiber, which help control appetite. Protein keeps you fuller for longer and helps maintain muscle mass when combined with physical activity.

A study published in the American College of Nutrition Journal found that eating pistachio nuts may reduce hunger and promote a healthy body weight.

The study found that when people ate pistachios, they consumed fewer calories in the next 24 hours than those who didn’t eat pistachios.

Additionally, the study participants who ate pistachios also lost weight and body fat while maintaining muscle mass. The fiber content of pistachios can help keep you regular, preventing constipation, a common problem in people with diabetes and obesity.

Benefit #5: Pistachios are an excellent snack option for diabetics

Pistachios are a good low-carb, low-calorie snack for people with diabetes because they are high in protein and fiber but low in carbohydrates and calories. They also have a low glycemic index, which means that they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

A study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that pistachios are one of the best snacks for people with diabetes due to their high-protein content.

The study compared the effects of different snacks on blood sugar levels in healthy adults and people with type 2 diabetes, including almonds, peanuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, apples, bananas, grapes, and watermelon, and found that pistachios had the most beneficial effect on blood sugar.

Benefit #6: Eating pistachios can improve brain health in diabetics

Diabetes may reduce your risk of dementia, according to a study published in the journal Diabetes Care which found that adults with diabetes were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.

Pistachios are a good source of vitamin B6, which is important for brain health. Vitamin B6 helps keep levels of homocysteine in check. Homocysteine is a harmful amino acid that can damage the brain if too high.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that the vitamin E present in pistachios can protect the brain from damage caused by homocysteine.

The antioxidants present in pistachios can also help improve cognitive function and memory and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

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Benefit #7: Pistachios can reduce blood pressure and inflammation

The magnesium and other nutrients present in pistachios can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a condition that is common in people with type 2 diabetes. They also have anti-inflammatory properties to help dampen the effects of chronic inflammation, which is linked to insulin resistance and heart disease.

A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that when people with type 2 diabetes consumed pistachios for six weeks, they had significant reductions in their C-reactive protein levels (CRP), an indicator of chronic inflammation.

Within three weeks of consuming pistachios, they also had significant decreases in systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.

How to add pistachio to a diabetes diet?

There is no one perfect way to add pistachios to a diabetes diet. Some people may enjoy pistachios as a snack, while others may include them in their meals. Here are some ideas on how to include pistachios in your diabetes diet:

• Snack on pistachios instead of other high-carb snacks like candies or cookies.

• Add chopped pistachios to salads and pasta dishes.

• Make a salad dressing by blending pistachios with olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

• Eat pistachios plain, without any salt or seasoning.

Do pistachios lower a1c levels?

Do pistachios lower a1c levels

Pistachios have both glucagonostatic and insulinotropic effects, meaning that they can help to lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering the a1c levels.

A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that eating pistachios for 16 weeks resulted in a significant decrease in fasting blood sugar and Hba1c levels in people with type 2 diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions about eating Pistachios, if you have diabetes

How much pistachios can a diabetic eat?

Answer: The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes limit their pistachios intake to no more than 30 kernels per day.

Do pistachios raise blood pressure?

Answer: Pistachios are not inherently bad for blood pressure, and recent studies show that they lower it thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies show that Pistachios’ natural flavonoids and antioxidants – like resveratrol and quercetin, are responsible for its blood pressure lowering effects. One study conducted at Loma Linda University in California even found a compound in pistachio shells called ursolic acid to prevent high blood pressure and atherosclerosis of the hardening of the arteries or heart vessels without causing inflammation.

Does pistachio increase uric acid?

Answer: Pistachios, due to their high antioxidant levels, are shown to reduce uric acid levels.

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The study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine showed that a diet supplemented with pistachios for six weeks could significantly reduce uric acid levels in participants.

What is the glycemic index of pistachios?

The glycemic index of pistachios is just 15, which is very low. This means that they won’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels like other high-carb snacks will.

Can I add salt to my pistachios?

Answer: You can, but it’s not necessary. Pistachios are naturally salty and flavorful, so many enjoy them without additional seasoning. Adding salt can adversely affect blood pressure levels, which people with diabetes need to be aware of.

What are some good ways to cook with pistachios?

Answer: Some good ways to cook with pistachios include adding salads, pasta dishes, and salad dressings. You can also eat them plain as a snack.

What nuts are bad for diabetics?

Peanuts and cashews with coatings (such as chocolate) are high in carbohydrates and should be avoided by diabetics. The coating will increase their glycemic index and cause a blood sugar spike.

Related Read:What Nuts are Bad for Diabetes?

Conclusion

Pistachios are a great diabetic-friendly snack that’s high in protein and fiber. They’re low in carbs, calories, and glycemic index – meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar levels as other sugary snacks will. In addition to their health benefits for diabetes, pistachios can also help improve brain health and lower blood pressure by reducing inflammation in type 2 diabetics. Try adding some pistachios to your meal if you want something crunchy but healthy for lunch or dinner time!

What other snacks do you like to eat when you’re on the go? Let us know your favorite diabetic-friendly options by leaving a comment below!

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5333560/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5748761/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30395790/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26561616/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28657613/
  6. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/138/9/1746S/4750850
  7. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/quinoa/
  8. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/type2.html
  9. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/37/11/3098

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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