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Replacement of carbohydrates with nuts beneficial for diabetes patients

Replacement of carbohydrates with nuts beneficial for diabetes patients

Replacing carbohydrate consumption with mixed nuts consumption improves glycaemic control and lipid risk factors among individuals with type 2 diabetes (T2D), according to a new study published in the journal Diabetologia. 

In line with current advice, David J.A. Jenkins, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, and colleagues assessed the effect of replacing carbohydrate consumption with mixed nut consumption, as a source of unsaturated fat, on cardiovascular risk factors and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in T2D. They presented data from a paper that was earlier retracted due to lack of adjustment for repeated measures in the same individual. The authors thus fixed the previous errors and added new data of interest, including low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particle size and clotting factors. 

For many years there has been a move towards replacing refined carbohydrates with unsaturated vegetable oils. Cohort studies have indicated benefits for lower carbohydrate diets of plant origin in terms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and diabetes incidence. Specifically, these benefits have been attributed to the use of nuts as a source of vegetable oils.

Also Read: Portfolio Diet for a healthy heart – Nuts, Plant Proteins and Fiber

Data were included for 117 men and postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes taking oral glucose-lowering agents and with HbA1c between 6.5 and 8.0%. Participants were randomized to full-dose nut diet (477 per 2,000 kcal energy provided as mixed nuts), full-dose muffin diet (471 per 2000 kcal energy provided as whole-wheat muffins, with similar protein content as the nuts), or half-dose nut diet (474 of 2000 kcal energy provided as half portions of nuts and muffins). Post-intervention data were available for 108 participants.

Key Findings:

  • The full-dose nut diet provided 9.2% greater total energy intake from monounsaturated fat compared with the full-dose muffin diet.
  • The full-dose nut diet reduced HbA1c by −0.19% compared with the full-dose muffin diet.
  • After the full-dose nut diet there were also reductions in the estimated cholesterol levels in LDL particles with a diameter <255 ångströms and apolipoprotein B.

“Nut intake as a replacement for carbohydrate consumption improves glycemic control and lipid risk factors in individuals with type 2 diabetes,” concluded the authors.

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Source: With inputs from Diabetologia

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