Following PM Lee's comments about diabetes being on the rise in Singapore, we thought it would be appropriate to come up with this post. He listed a few examples on how to prevent diabetes, which is especially relevant for people with such family history. They include cutting down on sugar (soft drinks), replacing white rice with brown rice, taking whole wheat bread and grains and exercise.
What you eat is the most important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. With 30% of the Singaporeans above 60 years old having diabetes, I think we need to put in more effort to preventing it from happening to yourself and to your parents.
Nuts are a fuss free way to do so.
Let's talk about diabetes first. Diabetes is a type of metabolic diseases where one has high blood sugar. Insulin is critical in regulating the levels of blood sugar so if your body does not produce insulin, it is classified as Type 1 Diabetes. For Type 2, it is due to insufficient insulin production or poor response of body to insulin. Type 2 accounts for 90% of the diabetic cases. Patients with high blood sugar will typically experience frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger.
Unfortunately, diabetes is a long term condition that can affect anyone for years.
Several studies, including the Journal of the American College of Nutrition has confirmed that nuts do indeed help to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes. It does not surprise us. Highly loaded with dietary fiber and proteins, nuts are a good snack to fill up your stomach and avoid over eating. They also contain high levels of unsaturated fats, which is healthy fats that contribute to 'good' cholesterol. Not just that, most nuts have low Glycemic Index (GI), which means that they do not raise your blood sugar quickly, like rice and ice cream.
To stabilise blood sugar, these tree nuts have the best benefits - Almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios. The most important nuts for those who already have diabetes are those that can improve cardiovascular health. They include almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.
If you can only choose a few nuts into your diet, consciously choose these to add into your snacking habits. Be sure to avoid the sugar kinds or even the salted ones for the best health performance, which is our raw and baked nuts range.
It is just a few handful of nuts per week but that is sufficient to reap the maximum health benefits. Try to incorporate a few walnut or pecan halves over your salad instead of croutons. Almonds or pecans can make a nice breading substitute for fish or poultry. Nut flours are not common here but they are used in many low-carb baking mixes. Sliced or slivered almonds (which we also have) go well in stir fry vegetables, or as a tasty and nutritious garnish for broccoli, green beans or baked gratins.
The simplest and best option of all, is to eat them as a wholesome and healthy snack, when you feel the urge to nibble on something that won't affect your blood sugar.
Making improvements to your eating habits is often the most difficult step. The other essential thing to do, is of course to go for regular medical check up. Healthy lifestyle begins with just putting healthy snacks into your mouth. Focus on changing one thing at a time and you are on your way to a heart healthy life!
P.S: We have reduced our price on all raw and baked nuts for up to 20%! This is only until 30 Sept so hurry and get them!