Researchers say eating almonds, cashews, and other nuts five times a week can improve heart health.
If you have type 2 diabetes, eating nuts five days a week may be just as good for your long-term well-being as regular exercise and checking your blood sugar.
So says a recent study, published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation Research journal.
The researchers concluded that patients with type 2 diabetes had a 17 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease if they ate nuts five times a week.
Additionally, people with type 2 diabetes who ate nuts regularly had a 34 per cent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, a 20 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease, and a 31 per cent lower risk of premature death from various causes.
The study found that tree nuts, in particular, offered the most benefits to your heart. Common tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and chestnuts.
Tree nuts help improve your heart health because of their positive impact on your blood pressure, your blood sugar levels, your body’s ability to metabolise dietary fat, and the well-being of your blood vessels.
For patients with type 2 diabetes, the risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke is high. That is why it is good for them to eat tree nuts – to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Nuts are rich in healthy fats.
The dietary fat in nuts is primarily monounsaturated, which is known for its ability to help lower cholesterol and protect your heart, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“For people with diabetes, nuts are low in carbohydrates, and high in good fats, which raise blood sugars slowly,” explained Elisabeth Almekinder, a writer who specialises in diabetes and other health issues.