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Can Nuts Be A Part of the Diabetic Diet?

woman with diabetes snacking on nuts

Adding Nuts to the Diabetes Diet | ADS

Nuts (Nuts for Diabetics) are a wonderful choice when you want food that is filling, good for your heart, and making other dishes taste great! Nuts contain “good” unsaturated fats, they are relatively high in protein, have fiber, contain disease-fighting phytochemicals, and they contain small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Did you know that calcium can be found in almonds? And folate, a B vitamin is found in hazelnuts and walnuts?

But you must be careful when consuming nuts because they do contain a good amount of calories per serving.  Based on the variety; one ounce or 2 tablespoons of nuts have about 160 to 180 calories. 

How Do Raw Nuts Help the Diabetic Diet?

In a nutshell (pardon the pun!), they’re diabetes-friendly as long as they’re consumed in moderation. Nuts are also low on the glycemic index, packed with protein and can even help control hypoglycemia. 

In one diabetes study, participants ate a handful of raw, mixed nuts everyday for 6 weeks. All of these participants showed an improvement in cholesterol and lipoprotein cholesterol which led to positive cardioprotective results! So adding nuts to your diet is good for the heart and cholesterol!

One more thing to keep in mind, however: nuts are only good for the diabetes diet in their raw form. So snacking on salt encrusted roasted peanuts is still a no-no!

Which Raw Nuts Are Best For Diabetes?


Serving Size: 3 tbsp

Almonds are the superstar nut! These little beauties pack 80ml of magnesium, which is great for bone health. They’re also known to help control glucose levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for people with type 2 diabetes. Eat a handful of these nuts for energy and to keep your blood sugars stable. 


Serving Size: 14 walnuts

Walnuts are a big player in the anti-inflammation diet for a reason – they are a natural source of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). They’ve been proven to promote feelings of fullness which may help curb junk food cravings due to their high fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Furthermore, daily consumption of walnuts is good for your cardiovascular health as they reduce cholesterol!



Serving size: 18 cashews

Did you know that cashews aren’t actually nuts? They’re the seeds of the tropical fruit, cashew apple. Regardless these “nuts” are high in iron, zinc, and magnesium. One serving also contains 13 grams of fat and 5 grams of protein. But don’t let the fat content fool you; this fat has been known to improve the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease. Though sweet in flavor, they are low in on the glycemic index (3 out of 10) and make an excellent snack for those with diabetes.


Serving size: 21 nuts

Hazelnuts may make you think of Nutella, but they’re much healthier than that! With a zero on the glycemic index, you can get 5 grams of protein per serving and not worry about blood sugars. Additionally, these nuts provide satiety (or the feeling of fullness) so you’ll be less likely to snack on less healthy foods.


Serving size: 1/2 cup

This tiny green nut has gained a bum reputation due to its relatively high fat content (30 grams per serving). But nutritionists today know that the high fat is mostly good for you and lends itself to a low glycemic index. The amount of unsaturated fat in pistachios has even qualified this nut as an FDA Approved Heart Healthy food. Keep a bag of pistachios on hand to sprinkle in salads for extra texture and crunch.

Adding Nuts to the Diabetes Diet

So how do you add nutritious, unsalted nuts into your meal plan without going crazy?  Try these ideas:

  • Add a tablespoon of nuts like hazelnuts, or almonds to a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt or Greek yogurt.
  • Add nuts to whole wheat cereal.
  • Make your salad crunchy with chopped walnuts or Brazil nuts.
  • Sprinkle pistachio nuts or add almonds with fresh fruit to your oatmeal.
  • Add cashews or peanuts into stir-fry dishes.
  • Toss peanuts into pasta dishes.
  • Casseroles or soups are delicious with finely chopped nuts on top.
  • Make chicken salad with chopped apples and pecans.
  • Bake with nuts.  Place in pancakes, or breakfast muffins.  Top frozen waffles with berries and nuts.
  • Place toasted, silvered nuts on top of cooked vegetables.
  • Put nuts into grain dishes.  Add almonds to brown rice or pine nuts to couscous.  Make a cold quinoa salad with nuts and dried cranberries.
  • Add nuts to air popped popcorn.
  • Make your own healthy trail mix with dried fruit and nuts.
  • Make your holiday stuffing recipe with nuts like chestnuts, pecans or walnuts.

Get the Help You Need from ADS

When you combine the nutrition with the diabetes supplies you already rely on every day, it’s easy to take your diabetes management efforts to the next level. Along with healthy eating habits, you can make it simpler to live with diabetes by ordering your supplies right here at ADS. We sell insulindiabetes testing suppliesglucose meters, and more – get started by placing your first order today!