Pistachios and Diabetes

Friday, May 14th, 2021

There have been many studies on pistachios and how they help control blood sugar. Adding pistachios to your diet if you have type 2 diabetes, are pre-diabetic or have gestational diabetes appears to be a great idea! Below are the results from studies that indicate including pistachios in your diet have positive results if diabetes is a concern.

Long-term blood sugar control and LDL cholesterol

The results from the largest randomized clinical trial to date on nuts and diabetes showed that eating about 2 ounces of nuts a day for 3 months, as a replacement for carbohydrate foods, may improve long-term blood sugar control and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. In this study, people snacking on pistachios experienced a significant reduction in HbA1c, a long-term marker of blood sugar control, and a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol.

Lowers blood sugar levels in high carbohydrate meals.

A 2011 paper presented two short-term studies published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition that examined the effects of eating pistachios on blood glucose after a meal. This study showed that pistachios added to different common carbohydrate foods, such as rice and pasta, significantly reduced the relative blood sugar response of the carbohydrate meals with which they were eaten. Pistachios eaten with a carbohydrate-rich meal lowered the blood glucose response in a dose-dependent manner, e.g., the higher the dose of pistachios, the more the blood sugar level was lowered.

Cardiovascular Control for type 2 diabetes

The results of an epidemiologic cohort study suggested that frequent nut and peanut butter consumption (five times per week) may be associated with a significantly lower cardiovascular disease risk in women with type 2 diabetes.

Managing cardiovascular risk factors is important for reducing vascular complications in type 2 diabetes, even in individuals who have achieved glycemic control. In a study published in 2014, the researchers observed that a moderate-fat diet containing pistachios modestly improved some cardiovascular risk factors in adults with well-controlled type 2 diabetes.

Eating pistachios reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes.

Two recent studies concluded the following:

A Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and pistachios early in gestation reduces the incidence of gestational diabetes and improves several maternal and neonatal outcomes.

Pistachios may be an appropriate snack for pregnant women with impaired glucose tolerance or gestational diabetes mellitus.

Pistachio Consumption and Pre-Diabetes

Researchers conclude that chronic pistachio consumption is emerging as a useful nutritional strategy for the pre-diabetic state. Data suggests that pistachios have a glucose- and insulin-lowering effect, promote a healthier metabolic profile, and reverse certain metabolic deleterious consequences of pre-diabetes.

Snacking can be tricky for the diabetic. Pistachios seem to be an excellent option to help maintain appropriate glucose levels. You can find more about the studies on the American Pistachio Growers website.

Eat more pistachios!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.