Pistachio is one of the tastiest and most healthy nuts. Plus, it can be a good addition to any healthy diet. You can consume pistachios for diabetes to manage your blood sugar levels.
Eating a healthy diet is crucial to prevent blood sugar spikes in individuals with diabetes. Sugary and high-carbohydrate foods should either be consumed in moderation or completely avoided. One food that you should include in a diabetes-friendly diet is pistachios. Incorporating pistachios has been associated with controlled blood sugar levels, offering a wholesome and satisfying snack for those with diabetes. Packed with healthy fats and fiber, pistachios contribute to overall well-being. Know the benefits of eating pistachios for diabetes here!
According to a study published by PubMed, dietary consumption of pistachio as a snack has beneficial effects on glycemic control, blood pressure, obesity, and inflammation in diabetic patients. So, you should add this nut to your regular diet!
7 benefits of eating pistachios for diabetes
Rich in fiber, healthy fats, and essential nutrients, pistachios can do wonders for your health, says nutritionist Vidhi Chawla. Here’s how it can help keep your blood sugar levels stable:
1. Low glycemic index
Pistachios have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they cause a slower rise in blood sugar compared to high-GI foods. Eating low-glycemic foods is crucial for people with diabetes, as it helps prevent sudden spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels. Chawla says, “The gradual and steady release of glucose from low-GI foods like pistachios can contribute to better blood sugar control, making them a suitable snack option for diabetics.”
2. Rich in fiber
Pistachios are rich in fiber, specifically soluble fiber. This type of fiber forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, slowing down the absorption of glucose and reducing the post-meal rise in blood sugar. The fiber content in pistachios also promotes satiety, helping individuals manage their weight, another important aspect of diabetes management.
3. Healthy fats
Beyond their impact on blood sugar levels, pistachios contain healthy fats, such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Chawla says, “These fats have been associated with improved insulin sensitivity, a key factor in diabetes.” By incorporating pistachios into your diet, individuals with diabetes may enhance their body’s response to insulin, potentially reducing the need for higher insulin doses and promoting better blood sugar regulation.
4. High protein content
Pistachios are also a good source of protein, which is essential for maintaining muscle mass and promoting a feeling of fullness. Including protein-rich foods in meals and snacks can assist diabetics in managing their appetite and preventing overeating. Additionally, protein can help stabilise blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates.
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5. Packed with antioxidants
One notable benefit of pistachios is their antioxidant content. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress and inflammation in the body, both of which are linked to diabetes-related problems. Including antioxidant-rich foods like pistachios in the diet may contribute to overall health and reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers.
Chwala says, “Magnesium is a mineral abundant in pistachios and plays a supporting role in insulin. Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity, helping to utilise glucose efficiently and providing additional support for managing diabetes.”
Apart from these essential nutrients, pistachios are also packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, thiamine, phosphorus, and magnesium. These nutrients play vital roles in various bodily functions, such as boosting metabolism, nerve function, and bone health. Proper intake of these micronutrients is particularly important for individuals with diabetes, as the condition can sometimes be associated with deficiencies or imbalances.
How many pistachios can a diabetic eat?
An individual with diabetes needs to be mindful of their overall carbohydrate intake, as pistachios do contain carbohydrates. Chawla says, “Aim to eat one ounce (around 25 grams) of pistachios per day to get results without consuming too many calories.”
How to consume pistachios?
There are various ways to enjoy pistachios. Here are 5 ways to eat it:
- Eat them as a snack. Measure the portion, take around 25 grams of pistachios, and enjoy them as a quick and satisfying snack.
- Sprinkle crushed or chopped pistachios over salads, yoghurt, or oatmeal to add crunch and flavour.
- Blend pistachios into a smoothie to make it even tastier.
Enjoy pistachios in these ways and manage your blood sugar levels! However, it’s essential to note that while pistachios offer numerous health benefits for diabetics, portion control is crucial. Nuts, including pistachios, are energy-dense, and excessive consumption can lead to an increase in caloric intake. Therefore, diabetics should enjoy pistachios in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.