Nuts aren’t like chocolates or wafers-they are not every child’s favourite! Today, nuts stand as an excellent value-addition to our daily dietary routine offering a wide variety of nutrients for good health. Yet, the discussions and controversies surrounding these tiny fruits with inedible hard shells and a seed is huge. There have been talks about these food sources being a versatile nutrient resource, a rich source of dense calories and also one of the best snacks to consume. Still, people, especially those with diabetes (both adults and kids), are perplexed whether or not it is advisable to consume nuts. Don’t succumb to any of these doubts as the rich nutrient presence in the form of magnesium, vitamins such as B and E, fibre, protein, good fats and more makes nuts one of the most valuable food choices for those with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2).
Nutrients in Nuts Promote Optimized Glucose Levels
The combination of protein and fats optimize blood sugar levels while magnesium affects insulin activity, the major hormone involved in controlling blood sugar levels. Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes generally suffer from lower magnesium levels and it is also true that the general population too lack in magnesium. Though its true that proteins and fats promote sugar control it is also extremely necessary to take care of portion sizes as nuts are powerhouses of calories too and overconsumption can ultimately result in weight gain.
Its been shown that taking nuts along with a high-carb food helps in lowering blood sugar levels to a greater extent than when consuming them alone. A study showed that eating nuts with white bread lowered sugar levels to a greater extent than consuming them alone while another study showed that eating pistachios with pasta/rice also limited rise in blood glucose readings after consumption. Every nut tastes differently and has its own blend of nutrients and it depends upon you to choose a wise combination of them for maximum benefits. Pair them with the right kind of foods: add chopped almonds or pistachios in yogurt and salads, spread almond butter on sliced apples, peanut butter on bread slices or mix walnuts in trail mix. You can even give your kids a small bowlful of mix nuts including almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, walnuts and cashews as a tasty evening snack.
Calorie-Dense Yet Friends of Weight Management
Time and again we have insisted that nuts contribute towards increase in weight if portion control is not maintained but we also have studies that show that frequent nut eaters are leaner than those who eat nuts infrequently. That’s mainly because, nuts increase satiety levels decreasing hunger levels thereby leading to less food intake. Also, nuts in shells such as pistachios take a longer time to crack making the individual spend more time finishing off the snack which ultimately increases satisfaction and decreases overeating. Read more about nuts, the different nutrients present in different nuts and their beneficial effects on health by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
Still, every 30 grams (Around 24 almonds, 48 pistachios, 14 half walnuts) of nuts contains around 150-200 calories and hence it is recommended to restrict kids to not more than 30-45 grams of nuts per day. Also, two tablespoons of almond/peanut butter equal 30 grams and it is the duty of every parent to ensure that their kids don’t overeat. In case they do so, they not only reap benefits of all the nutrients present in the nut but also become victims of weight gain!
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