High cholesterol happens when you have too much fatty substance in your blood. These elevated levels, particularly “bad cholesterol” make you more likely to have heart problems or stroke. However, a study published in the journal Circulation Research shows that a certain type of nut can cut high levels of this unwanted substance in diabetes patients.
Nuts can offer numerous health benefits for diabetes patients, for example, they can help with carbohydrate absorption.
This is because of their low glycemic index. Foods with a low number of on this index help absorb the carbohydrates in your food slowly, according to Diabetes.co.uk.
This can be helpful for managing blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients as eating foods with a low glycemic index can keep your levels steady, Diabetes UK reports.
Apart from blood sugar control, the main health benefit of eating nuts in diabetes patients is their effect on cholesterol levels.
READ MORE: Statins side effects: Five telltale signs in your urine – when to alert your doctor
Hazelnuts can help reduce the levels of your “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol.
This type of nut does this by increasing your levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, Diabetes.co.uk explains.
“Good” cholesterol – unlike the “bad” one – makes you less likely to experience heart problems and stroke, the NHS reports.
So, by eating hazelnuts you could cut your risk of heart disease.
The study published in Circulation Research shows that eating higher amounts of nuts is linked with lower cardiovascular disease prevalence and even mortality in diabetes patients.
The evidence from this study suggests that including nuts in your diet can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes.
If you’re not a fan of hazelnuts, research also shows that other types of tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans work just as well for your cholesterol levels and consequent heart disease risk.
Another study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that after eight weeks of consuming hazelnuts, participants saw a significant difference in their HDL cholesterol.
The only type of nut diabetes patients should be avoiding are salted ones.
Excessive amounts of salt can be harmful to your heart as they are linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
Overall, tree nuts have a beneficial effect on your heart, making them a great option for diabetes patients as they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Diabetes.co.uk recommends including a generous amount and a variety of nuts in your diet for the best results.