Type 2 diabetes is a condition where a person’s blood sugar (glucose) level becomes too high. It can trigger symptoms such as excessive thirst, peeing more than usual and feeling very tired. Left untreated, it can lead to long-term complications with the eyes, nerves, kidneys and feet. A healthy diet can help manage blood sugar levels, in particular eating a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables and some starchy foods like pasta, and keeping sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
Certain foods alone have also been found to have blood sugar lowering properties – one being walnuts.
The nutty snack is hailed for its healthy fatty acids content and keeping the heart healthy.
People with diabetes may have a higher risk of heart disease or stroke, so it’s important they get fatty acids, like those found in walnuts, through diet.
A study from 2018 suggested eating walnuts is linked with a lower incidence of diabetes.
One of the most prominent characteristics of nuts for people with diabetes is their effect on cholesterol levels, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
It explains: “Avoiding high cholesterol levels is essential for people with diabetes, because exposure to high blood glucose levels increases the risk of the arteries narrowing.
“Almonds, peanuts, and pistachios all reduce “bad” cholesterol very effectively. “Bad” cholesterol refers to small, dense particles of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), too much of which can clog the arteries.
“Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pecans, and hazelnuts reduce “bad” cholesterol by increasing levels of high-density-lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol. HDL clears out ‘bad’ cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease.”
Another food which has been found to lower blood sugar is the onion.
A study involving 42 people with type 2 diabetes showed eating 3.5 ounces (100g) of fresh red onion reduced fasting blood sugar levels after just four hours.
Additionally, a number of animal studies have shown eating onions to benefit blood sugar control.