A diagnosis of diabetes, typically includes a rather long list of things you are not supposed to nibble on.
The don’t eat list includes :
- ice cream,
- chocolate etc.
So…………….. what can you snack on ?
Now, if truth be told, snacking is not good for you – you’re way better off, if you nix the nibbling and GO BIG. New one
But snacking is a pervasive part of modern living.
Which leaves the diabetic with the dilemma of….
“What to snack on ?”
A nutty suggestion
Researchers from Penn State University have come up with a nutty suggestion.
They’re recommending pistachio nuts.
Because, not only do they taste pretty good, they help your heart withstand the stresses and strains of modern living.
The team discovered the de-stressing nature of the pistachio nut when…
The pistachio nut diet
They fed 30 relatively healthy diabetics, the “pistachio nut diet”.
So what is it ?
Remember the infamous “grapefruit” diet – substitute pistachio nut for grapefruit. These peeps ate lots of nuts, around 150 a day.
About half were eat, as nuts – WITH SALT, so they tasted pretty good. The rest were ground up and added to “other foods” – sprinklings appeared in their muffins and taco meat etc.
To pull this off, the pistachio nut cuisine, was specially prepared in the university test kitchen, so the participants just had to eat the “pistachio” laced meals. They followed the pistachio nut diet for a period of 4 weeks.
It seems, pistachio nut cuisine was pretty palatable. The researchers reported, good compliance.
Four weeks later….
In the heart of a stress full moment
The team took stock of the results of the “pistachio nut” diet.
Now, they weren’t DIETING, so a weigh in, was not on the list of things that was tested. The focus was on how the heart shaped up to pistachio nut eating – something that is rather important in diabetics, because heart disease is the BIG KILLER of diabetics.
Blood pressure was checked, both in peaceful moments and STRESS-FULL MOMENTS.
The team created two different STRESS-FULL MOMENTS.
- A physiological stress test – which involved dipping their right hand in ice cold water for 2½ minutes
- A mental stress test – which involved doing arithmetic with a ticking clock in the background.
Eating nuts, made no difference to the day-to-day blood pressure levels.
This finding, was a bit of a disappointment for the American Pistachio Growers, who had sponsored the study. But, a little further analysis showed, pistachio’s were helping heart’s cope with stress.
When the heart’s faced stressful moments, the pistachio diet made A BIG DIFFERENCE…
- peripheral resistance went down,
- cardiac output went up,
- heart rate variability stabilized and
- blood pressure during the night dropped.
In short, pistachio’s made heart’s MORE RESILIANT.
And….. a RESILIANT HEART is less likely to get in a tizz and do something stupid, like have a HEART ATTACK.
What is it about the pistachio nut ?
Well it is full of all sorts of potentially healthful goodies, including fibre, plant protein and vitamins & minerals and anti-oxidants.
- The fibre, definitely helps feed the “extended” family and the “extended” family, influence your blood pressure.
- The protein, along with the carbs and fat, makes the nut a food that obeys the RULE OF THIRDS, which keeps inflammation down, which also helps blood pressure.
- But, the most likely explanation – the high levels of potassium and magnesium that come packaged inside pistachio nuts. Both these nutrients help blood vessels relax. And relaxed blood vessels, mean less pressure in the blood vessels.
Feed your heart pistachio nuts
So……………. if you’re diabetic (and even if you’re not) and need a snack, consider throwing back a handful of pistachio nuts.
They’re a quick snack to grab. Maybe not such a quick snack to eat…..
And you heart will appreciate the pistachio nut snack, particularly if your life is full of stressful moments. And whose isn’t ?
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind diabetes ?
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