Is Walnut Good For Diabetes? | Check Glycemic Index of Walnuts

Last updated on September 27th, 2022

Diabetics must keep a check on their diets, as many healthy foods may also increase blood glucose levels. The diabetic-friendly diet must contain high amounts of dietary fibre. And when the topic of fibres comes, seasonal fruits and veggies come in mind. Read to know “What is the glycemic index value of walnuts and Is walnut good for diabetics?”.

It is a fact that every person must consume enough of them. However, several other fibre sources are present around that people must sneak into one’s diet as well. For example, there are nuts and seeds, an excellent source of fibres. And, these come under a healthy snack option for people with diabetes.

Nuts of every kind can be a part of a healthy meal plan. That’s due to the reason that nuts comprise multiple nutrients. These are seen to support overall health. And, might even hold off devastating medical problems like heart disorder. People often give less attention to one such kind of nut, “walnut” than its common cousin, almond. However, diabetic people must give walnuts their attention and start adding them into their diet.

Crispy and tasty walnuts may do wonders in blood sugar control if taken in moderation. As per studies too, walnuts might aid in decreasing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Also, walnuts are somewhat high in calories and warm in nature. Thus, it is better to discuss with an expert the advisable intake of walnuts for a day.

What are Walnuts?

Walnuts, popularly known as “akhrot”. These are single-seeded, round stone fruits, that cultivate on the walnut tree. Walnuts are a rich source of healthy fats, fibre, protein, and fats. They have been found to improve heart and bone health and aid in weight loss as well.

Walnut tree is indigenous to eastern parts of North America. And, are now commonly cultivated in parts of Iran, China, and within U.S. in Arizona and California. Underneath the shell of the walnut fruit lies a creased, globe-shaped nut i.e., walnut. It is divided into 2 flat pieces and people sell them commercially. This nut comes in both raw or roasted, as well as salted or unsalted forms.

Also Read: How to Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately?

Walnuts Nutritional Value (30 Gram Approx)

As per the USFDA, one cup of organic walnuts (approximately 30 g) comprises:

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 20 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Iron: 0.72 mg
  • Calcium: 20 mg
  • Sodium: 0 mg

Also, walnuts are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like:

  • vitamin B6
  • copper
  • iron
  • manganese
  • phosphorus
  • magnesium

Walnuts are rich in monounsaturated, polyunsaturated fats as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts have a status of being a high-fat as well as high-calorie food. Nuts are rich in nutrients and offer heart-healthy fats.

Summary

The blend of fiber, healthy fats, and protein in walnuts enhances a person’s fullness. And, this makes walnuts a healthful alternative as a snack than crackers, chips, or other carb foods.

Glycemic Index of Walnuts

Does akhrot benefits in diabetes? Walnuts are completely safe for people with diabetes. The GI value of walnut is 15, due to this, walnuts are safe for high sugar patients. The oil of walnuts helps to enhance the antioxidant activity in the body cells having high blood sugar.

Consumption of walnuts assists in developing power against insulin resistance. And, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Yet again, consuming walnuts daily helps to relieve oxidative stress. It is a reason for several other issues associated with diabetes.

Also Read: Normal Blood Sugar Levels Chart for Adults

Walnuts for Diabetes

Is walnut good for diabetes? Below are some points, why walnuts are an ideal bet for diabetes control:

  • Walnuts help to build resistance for insulin, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and regulate the levels of blood sugars.
  • The GI value of walnuts is also very low. Foods having a GI value below 55 are ideal for a person with diabetes.
  • Walnuts pack several dietary fibres. Fibres take a long time to break down and digest. And, this ensures a gradual release of glucose in the blood.

Summary

Walnut is a very versatile nut. Walnut is good for diabetes. And, people use it in smoothies, salads, or as a topping to cereals. People may also prepare a nutty trail-mix using a handful of diabetic-friendly nuts like pecans or almonds. Try adding walnuts in everyone’s regular diet and notice the change.

Also Read: How to Reverse Diabetes Permanently

Health Benefits of Walnuts

Every person must be wondering, are nuts good for diabetics? Below are some of the reasons of including walnuts to one’s eating plan.

Heart health

One of the major reasons of consuming walnuts is to keep a person’s heart healthy. Heart health is very crucial for diabetics who are at a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.

Many studies also support the heart-health advantages of walnuts. As per a study, people who ate a walnut-rich diet saw the below points than those who ate a control diet.

  • Reduced total cholesterol
  • Decreased levels of triglycerides
  • Reduced level of apoprotein B (associates with heart problems)
  • Decreased LDL cholesterol

Summary

Walnuts are found to provide heart-health defense to diabetic patients as well. A study also established that people who consumed 5 or more servings of tree nuts per week had a reduced frequency of cardiac problems and mortality. The study proves that nuts usually have healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals. All these add to fortification from heart problems, cancer, and hypertension.

Walnuts and Prevention of Diabetes

Diabetic people must be familiar with the foods that can affect their blood glucose levels. Are walnuts good for diabetics? Walnuts are less likely to affect blood sugars than other foods. Thus, they are diabetic friendly.

Walnuts have a very low number of carbs, the nutrient that elevates the glucose levels more than protein and fat. In addition, walnuts contain fibre, protein, fat that aid to limit the “increase” in blood glucose. And, this increase in the blood sugar may happen after consuming foods (particularly carb-rich foods).

Also, prediabetics who are at a high risk of type 2 diabetes might also take advantage of a controlled carb-diet. So, it makes sense to replace much of high-carb, processed foods with low-carb, high-protein foods like nuts such as walnuts.

Summary

Studies show that consuming 1 ounce of walnuts 5 or more times per week was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Bone Health

Every person wants to have strong and healthy bones, particularly as they go older. Diabetic people, especially type 1 diabetics, are inclined to have osteoporosis. It is a health problem that weakens bones. Osteoporosis result in low density and high fragility of bones.

Walnuts consist of a mineral, copper, required to support bone density. Thus, a deficiency of this mineral might add to the development of osteoporosis. In addition to copper, walnuts comprise manganese and magnesium, vital minerals supporting healthy bones.

Also Read: Indian Diabetic Diet for Adults

Weight Control

It might appear slightly odd that consuming walnuts or other nuts may aid in weight loss. In other words, walnuts help to maintain a healthy weight. However, amazingly, studies recommend that having nuts may aid in weight loss. This is likely due to the fiber, fat, protein content that aids a person to feel full longer.

Summary

It is advisable to keep consuming nuts once target weight is close. Doing so may aid a person maintain that weight. Also, lower the probabilities of regaining the weight a person has lost.

Brain Health

Consuming walnuts might also aid in developing health of brain. As per a study, walnuts comprise compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. People who added nuts, particularly walnuts, into their daily meal plan, had some signs of depression. Likewise, individuals who consumed a Mediterranean form of diet with nuts had a decreased risk of stroke (by 50%) than the control group.

Summary

A diet rich in antioxidants, such as walnuts, aids in maintaining cognitive function. These may include concentration, memory, and information processing.

Gut Health

Walnut consumption may enhance certain types of bacteria in the gut. These are also known as the gut microbiome. This microbiome carries a crucial role in maintaining overall health of a person.

A study observed that people who consumed walnuts had more of gut bacteria related to reduced cholesterol, non-HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure. Other studies also proposed that consuming walnuts improves butyric acid-forming bacteria. These bacteria help to sustain the colon health.

Few Tips About Walnuts and Diabetes

It is good to have a walnut in raw form with peels. Even if, its peel is somewhat bitter. Prior to purchasing this nut, breathe it and check if it’s stale.

Before buying a walnut, it is better to smell it for checking its freshness. In typical situations, a person may even crush and pour walnuts over their salads. Or, they can mildly roast them with veggies or yoghurt.

Storage of Walnuts

Nuts accompany a high-fat content, and thus they are susceptible to becoming rotten. Rotten nuts are not dangerous. However, their flavor is quite sharp which individuals might find unfavorable. The shelf life of walnuts can be improved by keeping them in a cool, dark, and dry place.

People keep walnuts in a refrigerator under 40 degrees or in a freezer under 0 degrees. As a result, they can be preserved for more than a year.

Summary

Walnuts may be a healthy inclusion to a diabetic diet. A diet that is balanced together with an exercise routine works good for diabetic’s health.

Ways to Add Walnuts into a Person’s Diet

Below are a few pointers that may aid in including walnuts into one’s diet:

  • Walnuts in the roast form are an excellent addition in veggies, pasta, or rice.
  • A small handful of walnuts goes well with a little part of fruit. This becomes a quick snack.
  • Scatter some chopped walnuts on the salad, yogurt, or oatmeal.
  • For additional brain health benefits, consume walnuts in combination with blueberries. Recipe can be some Blueberries, Walnuts, and Feta Cheese. Give it a try!
  • Ground walnuts may also replace breadcrumbs in poultry items like chicken, fish, and meat.

Risks and Precautions

Few studies have concluded that intake of walnuts fails to cause weight gain. Yet, walnuts pack calories, and individuals must take them within limits to lower this risk.

A high intake of these nuts is associated with diarrhoea. This might be after an individual consumes a huge number of walnuts, due to their high oil or fibre content. Take, for instance, individuals having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

One ounce serving of walnuts comprises roughly 14 half pieces of this nut. Individuals suffering from hypersensitivity to nuts must not have walnuts. If an individual develops rash or breathing problems after consuming walnuts, medical help is necessary. Children are advised not to have pieces of nut as it may cause choking.

Summary

Walnuts come under a heart-healthy group due to their cholesterol-improving properties. In contrast to other nuts, walnuts have high concentrations of alpha-linolenic acid. This might aid in guarding against plaque development in arteries. Also, walnuts are a rich source of an amino acid named L-arginine. It aids in relaxing the blood vessels and helps in blood pressure control.

FAQs:

Is it good to eat walnuts on an empty stomach?

People can begin their day with nuts. When walnuts are taken on an empty stomach, it would not only offer protein to the body, but also improve the HDL levels.

Can kidney patients eat walnuts?

Walnut contains a high number of oxalates. And, oxalates add to the formation of kidney stones. Thus, kidney patients are advisable not to consume this nut.

Do walnuts reduce the levels of A1C?

Walnut intake links to an increase in the insulin response during an oral glucose tolerance test. Also, walnuts reduce the levels of HbA1c in people suffering from polycystic ovary syndrome. This is a health problem linked to insulin resistance.

How many walnuts can a diabetic person eat in a day?

Intake of 7-8 walnuts daily carries a positive effect on the insulin levels and weight of diabetics.

References:

  1. https://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/healthy-living/nutrition-exercise/are-walnuts-good-for-diabetics/
  2. https://www.ndtv.com/food/walnut-for-diabetes-heres-how-walnuts-may-help-manage-blood-sugar-levels-1983130
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/309834#diet
  4. https://www.lifebing.com/can-diabetics-eat-nuts-and-seeds/

 Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

Disclaimer

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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