Are Walnuts Good for Diabetes? Yes, Provided You Don’t go Nuts With Walnuts!

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

Are walnuts good for diabetes
Living with diabetes, hypertension or any other chronic disease requires you to do multiple things – track vitals, take medicines & stay on top of your health at all times. If this overwhelms you, switch to Phable – India’s No. 1 BP & Sugar Management App to manage your condition better. Take charge of your health and stay connected with doctors, order medicines and do a whole lot more from the comfort of your home.

Walnuts are considered to be among the healthiest foods. They have amazing nutritional value. However, they are high-calorie foods, and thus, their role in the diet of those living with diabetes should be understood. So, are walnuts good for diabetes? Does this superfood have any added nutritional value for diabetics? Let’s find out in detail.

Contents:
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Walnuts: Nutritional Profile
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Advantages of Walnuts for Diabetes
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Ways to Consume Walnuts for Diabetes
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Best Time to Eat Walnuts for Diabetes
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How Many Walnuts Can Diabetics Consume in a Day?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Risks of Overconsumption of Walnuts For Diabetes
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Other Health Benefits of Walnuts
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    Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    FAQs
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Walnuts: Nutritional Profile

Walnuts are high in fat, contain a good amount of protein, and are low on carbohydrates. They are also an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of raw walnuts, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). 
Nutrient Amount
Energy 654 kcal
Water 4.07 g
Protein 15.2 g
Fat
  • Saturated
  • Monounsaturated
  • Polyunsaturated
65.2 g 6.13 g 8.93 g 47.2 g
Carbohydrate 13.7 g
Sugar 2.61 g
Fiber 6.7 g
Copper 1.59 mg
Phosphorus 346 mg
Manganese 3.41 mg
Vitamin E 0.7 mg
Vitamin B6 0.537 mg
Folate 98 µg
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Advantages of Walnuts for Diabetes

  • Walnuts are low in carbs, the nutrient that raises blood sugar levels more than protein and fat. The glycemic index (GI, a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels) of walnuts is low. This makes walnuts suitable for consumption in type 2 diabetes
  • Walnuts have a good amount of protein (65%) and fat (15%). This helps walnuts prevent sudden spikes in sugar levels and keep them in check.
  • Walnuts contain a good amount of dietary fiber, keeping you full for longer and slowing down the digestion process, thus lowering blood sugar spikes in the process. 
  • Walnuts are a rich source of the healthy omega-3 fat alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). ALA may help reduce inflammation, which is tied to diabetes.

Ways to Consume Walnuts for Diabetes

  • Eat them as is: Eat a small handful of walnuts at snack time, or pair it with a small piece of fruit.
  • Chop them up: Chop a handful of walnuts and add them into your salad, oatmeal, or yogurt.
  • Roast them: Roast walnuts and add them to your main meals such as vegetables, pasta, and rice.

You can also try the following recipes with walnuts. It is recommended that you soak them in water overnight before using them in these recipes.

  • Banana, date, and walnut smoothie: Combine 200 ml of milk, half a banana, a date, an ounce of walnuts, and blend it. This rich and nutritious smoothie will fill you up and provide several vital nutrients.
  • Mango-walnut yogurt with chia seeds: Get some fresh yogurt. Mix two tablespoons of chia seeds to it. Peel and chop half a mango into the yogurt, and add an ounce of chopped walnuts. Enjoy your creamy yogurt with a crunchy twist.

Best Time to Eat Walnuts for Diabetes

Soaking walnuts overnight and consuming them in the morning is one of the best ways to consume walnuts. After that, you can add it to your breakfast smoothie or oatmeal. Walnuts can be consumed at any time of the day, either by themselves as snacks, or by adding them to your main meals. 

How Many Walnuts Can Diabetics Consume in a Day?

Diabetics may have one ounce of walnuts in a day. One ounce of walnuts equals about 7 whole walnuts or 14 walnut halves. Since walnuts are high in calories, it is advised not to exceed the recommended serving size for a day. 

Risks of Overconsumption of Walnuts for Diabetes

  • Walnuts are dense in calories. Thus, eating too many of them may contribute to weight gain. 
  • As walnuts have high fiber content, overconsumption can cause gas, bloating, and stomach pain. 
  • Walnuts are also known to be a natural laxative, and eating too many may cause diarrhea. 
  • Due to their rich oxalate (a naturally occurring molecule found in plants) content, eating too many walnuts may contribute to the formation of kidney stones

Therefore, you should always moderate your consumption of walnuts to avoid these health complications. 

Other Health Benefits of Walnuts

  • Walnuts are rich in several bioactive components that may have anticancer properties, including phytosterols, gamma-tocopherol, and omega-3 fatty acids. Thus, walnuts can help prevent cancer. 
  • The high antioxidants and omega -3 fatty acids in walnuts can improve your brain health. 
  • The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in walnuts can help prevent heart diseases by lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, also known as bad cholesterol. 
  • The omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and antioxidants in walnuts make it good for the well-being of your skin and hair.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Walnuts are high in fat, contain a good amount of protein, and are low on carbohydrates. They are also an excellent source of several vitamins and minerals. 
  • Walnuts are low in carbs, have high amounts of protein (65%) and fat (15%), and contain a good amount of dietary fiber. Thus, they keep you full for longer, lower sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, and reduce inflammation. Thus, walnuts are good for diabetes.
  • You can eat walnuts as snacks by themselves, add it into salads or main meals, or soak them overnight and add them into smoothies or fruit and yogurt bowls. 
  • Walnuts can be consumed at any time of the day. However, soaking walnuts overnight and consuming them in the morning is one of the best ways to consume walnuts. 
  • Eating too many walnuts may lead to side effects such as weight gain, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, or kidney stones. Thus, it is recommended to limit your consumption to 1 ounce or 7 whole walnuts per day.
  • Other health benefits of walnuts include better brain health, good skin and hair, defense against cancer, low cholesterol levels, and improved heart health.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Walnuts have fewer carbohydrates and a higher protein and fat content. Thus, they have less of an effect on blood sugar levels compared to other foods. 

The protein, fat, and fiber in walnuts may help in limiting sudden spikes in blood sugar levels that can occur after eating. They can also help in weight control and thus reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

People with diabetes can incorporate walnuts into their diet by soaking them and consuming them as it is or by adding them to shakes, juices, and salads. Walnuts can also be enjoyed as mid-meal snacks, paired with fruits, yogurt, or oatmeal. They can be roasted and added to main meals such as rice or pasta as well. 

Consuming too many walnuts may result in weight gain as they are high in calories. Eating too many walnuts can cause bloating, gas, stomach pain, or diarrhea as they have high dietary fiber content. In addition, eating walnuts in excessive amounts may contribute to the formation of kidney stones due to their rich oxalate content.

Yes. Black walnuts have higher antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, and other vital nutrients when compared to the common English walnuts. Hence, they are suitable for people with diabetes.

If you have wondered, “are walnuts good for diabetes?”, the answer is yes. However, you should be careful of your portion size. Diabetics can eat a maximum of 7 whole walnuts or 14 walnut halves in a day. 

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

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