Against type 2 diabetes? Instead of a snack based on carbohydrates, even whole grains, eat nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios, which will help keep your blood sugar under control and protect your heart. This emerges from a recent scientific research published in the journal Diabetologia by a Canadian team from the University of Toronto (Jankins et al, Diabetologia, 2018).
Dried fruit to protect the heart
Previous studies had already shown the important benefits of dried fruit, capable of reducing bad LDL cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease without increasing body weight, despite being a source of fat. In fact, these are unsaturated fats which are valuable for cardiovascular health. Canadian researchers have hypothesized that dried fruit may also be a valid ally in the fight against type 2 diabetes, the diabetes typical of adulthood.
Dried fruit helps control blood sugar
To answer this question, scientists recruited 108 women, all postmenopausal and with impaired blood sugar due to type 2 diabetes. The volunteers were divided into two groups. The first group was asked to include a 75-gram serving of dried fruit per day in their diet. The serving of nuts had to include a mix of walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, cashews, peanuts, macadamia nuts and almonds. The second group, on the other hand, had to replace the caloric intake of walnuts with three wholemeal muffins and the third group had to take a muffin and half a dose of dried fruit. The study lasted three months. At the end of this period, the volunteers underwent blood tests and medical examinations. What emerged was that the introduction of dried fruit made it possible to improve glycemic values compared to those who had taken the muffins. In particular, glycated hemoglobin was decreased, which is a value that is used to evaluate the concentration of blood sugar over a long period of time. That is, it allows you to understand how the blood sugar values behaved in the previous months allowing you to have a general view of the person's health and to understand whether diabetes is under control or not. The decrease in this value, observed in the case of ingestion of dried fruit in the study in question, indicates that diabetes was controlled more effectively with the consumption of dried fruit than with the snack based on carbohydrates, even if prepared with whole grain flour. Not only that, the volunteers who had taken dried fruit also showed a decrease in bad LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B, which is considered an indicator of cardiovascular risk. In particular, the higher this value, the higher the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
The study has shown that the introduction of dried fruit as a snack instead of a snack based on carbohydrates, even if whole grain, is more effective in controlling blood sugar and with important benefits also as regards the health of the cardiovascular system.