Instead of snacking on junk food — which is obviously bad for your health — why not find healthier, but still tasty options? Try tree nuts. They are delicious, nutritious, and can even lower your risk of diabetes .
In a study published in BMJ Open journal, researchers discovered that consuming tree nuts can lead to lower blood sugar and triglyceride – two of the five indicators of metabolic syndrome. (: Here’s a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent .)
Carried out by researchers from Canada, the study looked at existing evidence on the effect of tree nuts on metabolic syndrome . The researchers found that the greatest decline in blood sugar and triglycerides was seen in people who made tree nuts part of their diet in comparison to individuals under the control diet. The participants consumed an average of 50 grams (g) of nuts every day.
In addition, Dr. John Sievenpiper, the lead researcher of the study, said that even though nuts were high in calories, they did not negatively affect other metabolic syndrome risk factors. This debunks the claim that nuts are harmful to your health.
Other benefits of eating tree nuts
Here are more reasons why you should add nuts to your diet :
- They are nutritious: Eating an ounce (around 28 g) of mixed nuts will give you protein, carbs, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
- They are packed with antioxidants: Nuts are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols, which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Polyphenols also lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol, a primary risk factor for heart disease.
- They help you lose weight: Nuts are high in calories. You may think that they will contribute to weight gain. However, research says otherwise. Studies have shown that consumption of nuts promotes weight loss. In addition, research has found that the body does not absorb all of the calories in nuts because a portion of those is trapped within the fibrous wall of nuts during digestion.
- They may reduce inflammation: Evidence shows that nuts have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that some nuts, such as pistachios, Brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts, can reduce inflammation both in healthy individuals and people with serious health conditions such as diabetes and kidney disease.
- They are rich in fiber: The fiber in nuts can serve as prebiotics or food for the healthy bacteria in the gut. These gut bacteria can ferment the fiber and make it into beneficial short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are helpful in enhancing gut health and lowering the risk of diabetes and obesity. Additionally, fiber helps you feel full and decreases the number of calories you absorb from meals.
Know how much to eat. Get personalized nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, current physical activity level, and other factors. Use SuperTracker to determine your calorie needs, plan a diet that’s right for you, and track progress toward your goals. Lean more at www.SuperTracker.usda.gov.
Good examples of tree nuts to eat
If you want to try snacking on tree nuts, some good choices would be almonds, Brazil nuts , cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts , hickory nuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts. However, the best choice would be organic, sprouted nuts. Non-organic tree nuts are packed with toxic substances that can promote inflammation, cancer cell growth, hormonal imbalances, and various digestive problems. The ideal amount of tree nuts you would have to consume every day is 50 g, which is equivalent to 1.76 ounces each day.