Your Road to Wellness

Nut consumption

Reduce your blood glucose level eating this snack.

Posted by on 4:52 pm Bloodsugar, Diabetes, Eating, Glucose, Insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, Nut consumption, Type 2 diabetes | 0 comments

pistachio nutsYou don’t have to have diabetes to benefit from better blood sugar control.

The reviewed research showed that sometimes it doesn’t have to be very difficult(Parham M, et al. 2014).


The participants of this study had type 2 diabetes. One group was given 25g of pistachio nuts as snacks twice a day for 12 weeks while the other group was given a control meal without nuts.

After 12 weeks the groups were switched so the group that got the test meal now received the nuts.

The pistachio nuts reduced fasting blood glucose, HbA1c (a measurement of long term glucose control), blood pressure, BMI (body mass index) and CRP an inflammatory marker.

All this from just eating some nuts.


Parham M1, Heidari S2, Khorramirad A2, Hozoori M3, Hosseinzadeh F1, Bakhtyari L4, Vafaeimanesh J1. Effects of pistachio nut supplementation on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014 Summer;11(2):190-6. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.190. Epub 2014 Aug 10.


See what pistachio nuts can do for you.

Posted by on 11:04 pm Diabetes, Diet, Eating, Glucose, Nut consumption | 0 comments

Roasted pistachio nuts seed with shellIf you want a quick healthy snack, then pistachio nuts would be a good choice.

The reviewed research had diabetic patients either assigned to a group receiving 25 g of pistachio nuts twice a day as a snack or a control meal without nuts(Parham M, et al. 2014).

After 12 weeks the participants had a washout period of 8 weeks before the groups were switched.

The results showed that eating pistachios decreased HbA1c (a long-term measure of glucose control) as well as fasting blood glucose. Eating the nuts also reduced systolic blood pressure, body mass index and CRP an inflammatory marker.

Nuts are a much better choice than so called nutrition bars if you want a snack.



Parham M1, Heidari S2, Khorramirad A2, Hozoori M3, Hosseinzadeh F1, Bakhtyari L4, Vafaeimanesh J1.Effects of pistachio nut supplementation on blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes: a randomized crossover trial. Rev Diabet Stud. 2014 Summer;11(2):190-6. doi: 10.1900/RDS.2014.11.190. Epub 2014 Aug 10.

Low cholesterol associated with increased mortality risk, too low can be dangerous.

Posted by on 9:15 pm Cholesterol, Flaxseeds, Nut consumption | 0 comments

cholesterolHave you been told or have you read that the more you lower your cholesterol the better off you are? You may also have heard that having high cholesterol is healthy.

So what is correct?

More and more research documents that it may be dangerous to lower your cholesterol too much, but the reviewed research is shedding some light on this (Bae J M et al. 2012). Screenings from 12,740 adults between the ages of 40 and 69 years were included in the study, and they were followed from 1993 to 2008. The results were probably surprising to a lot of people. Cholesterol below 160 mg/dl as well as above 240 mg/dl was associated with higher cardiovascular disease mortality. As with many physiological functions the risk ratio has a U-formed curve.

Both too little and too much is not good, it needs to be between certain levels.

Cholesterol has often been presented as a bad thing we would be better off without. That could not be further from the truth. Cholesterol is necessary for many functions; the body makes it for a reason.

Eating more nuts, seeds and olive oil and less high glycemic index carbohydrates would help to keep your cholesterol in a healthy range.




Bae JM1, Yang YJ, Li ZM, Ahn YO. Low cholesterol is associated with mortality from cardiovascular diseases: a dynamic cohort study in Korean adults. J Korean Med Sci. 2012 Jan;27(1):58-63. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2012.27.1.58. Epub 2011 Dec 19.

The latest on saturated fat

Posted by on 11:00 am Blood Pressure, Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Fat, Health, Health Risk, Heart disease, Nut consumption | 0 comments

The conservative view on saturated fat has been that it is harmful. Lately fat has, however, gotten a better reputation. There are now people promoting even saturated fat as being healthy. So what should you believe?

There is plenty of research showing that fat is a necessity if you’re going to stay healthy, but is all fat healthy? That is exactly what the reviewed research  investigated (Livingstone KM, et. al.,2013). The participants were 2398 men, aged 40 to 59 years. Researchers followed up with the participants at five-year intervals for an average of 17.8 years.

At the start of the study, higher saturated fat consumption was associated with higher systolic blood pressure and also higher diastolic blood pressure. After a 17.8 year follow-up, the participants with higher saturated fat consumption also had a 0.51 m/s higher aortic pulse wave velocity (aPWV), which is a measurement of arterial stiffness. This meant that they had stiffer arteries.

The participants with higher polyunsaturated fatty acid consumption had, at the start of the study both lower systolic blood pressure and lower diastolic blood pressure. After a 17.8 year follow-up, they had a 0.63 m/s lower aPWV, which means they had lower arterial stiffness.

The conclusion is that saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat have the opposite effect. The polyunsaturated fats, which you find in nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and fish, are healthy. The saturated fats you find in meat and dairy products are unhealthy.



Livingstone KM, Givens DI, Cockcroft JR, Pickering JE, Lovegrove JA. Is fatty acid intake a predictor of arterial stiffness and blood pressure in men? Evidence from the Caerphilly Prospective Study. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Feb 13. pii: S0939-4753(12)00282-7. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2012.12.002.

Weight Loss It makes a difference where the calories are coming from.

Posted by on 11:54 am Diet, Diet, Health, Lose fat, Nut consumption | 0 comments

You have probably heard that if you want to lose weight it does not matter where the calories are coming from as long as you reduce your calorie intake. All you have to do, if you want to keep your weight at a healthy level, is to adjust your calorie intake.

This is not true. The source of calories, in other words the type of food you eat, makes a difference when it comes to how much weight you will lose and if you will lose fat or muscles. It is also easier to maintain your weight at a better level if you eat certain foods.

The research reviewed here are just 3 examples of this, and the findings in these studies may surprise you.

One of the studies included 51, 188 women aged 20 to 45 years with no cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or cancer (Bes-Rastollo M, et al. 2009). The objective was to determine the relation between nut consumption and long term weight change. The researchers evaluated the dietary intake of nuts and weight changes for 8 years in these participants.

Nuts are high in fat and for that reason calorie dense. For that reason you may think that if you eat nuts on a regular basis you would gain more weight than if you don’t. The results however showed that the women who reported eating nuts twice or more times per week had slightly less weight gain than did women who rarely ate nuts.
The results were similar in normal-weight, overweight and obese participants.


Another example is a study where the participants were assigned to a weight reduction diet for 12 weeks (Li Z, et al. 2011). One group included an afternoon snack of 53 g (240 calories) of salted pistachios and the other group included 56 g of salted pretzels (220 calories) in their diet which otherwise was the same.

The results may surprise you again because there was a significant difference in body mass index (BMI) between the two groups. The pistachio group reduced their BMI from 30.1 to 28.8 while the pretzel group reduced their BMI from 30.9 to 30.3. This means that the group who ate nuts as a snack reduced their BMI twice as much compared to the ones who ate the pretzels. After 6 and 12 weeks the triglycerides were also significantly lower in the pistachio group.

In the third example the study participants who were healthy men and women added either candy or roasted peanuts to their regular caloric intake for 2 weeks (Claesson AL, et al. 2009).

You may again be surprised, but the results documented that the group who added the candy increased more in weight than the group who added the peanuts. The waist circumference increased significantly only in the candy group. They gained fat around their waist. At the end of the study the LDL cholesterol and Apo B/Apo A-1 ratio, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease, were higher in the candy group. The basal metabolic rate increased only in the peanut group, which means that they started to burn more calories at rest.

These are just some few examples of research showing that it definitely makes a difference where the calories are coming from.

There are other studies documenting similar results as described here when the researchers compared the results from eating the same amount of calories, but from different types of food.

Imagine the results you can get when you combine these different types of food in a meal and set up a weekly food schedule incorporating this information.

That is exactly what I did when I developed the “Learn to Eat” program.

You can download the program immediately by going to the page Learn to Eat and get started on a healthier way of eating right away.




Bes-Rastrollo M, Wedick NM, Martinez-Gonzalez MA, Li TY, Sampson L, Hu FB. Prospective study of nut consumption, long-term weight change, and obesity risk in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jun;89(6):1913-9. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
Claesson AL, Holm G, Ernersson A, Lindström T, Nystrom FH. Two weeks of overfeeding with candy, but not peanuts, increases insulin levels and body weight. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2009;69(5):598-605.
Li Z, Song R, Nguyen C, Zerlin A, Karp H, Naowamondhol K, Thames G, Gao K, Li L, Tseng CH, Henning SM, Heber D. Pistachio nuts reduce triglycerides and body weight by comparison to refined carbohydrate snack in obese subjects on a 12-week weight loss program. J Am Coll Nutr. 2010 Jun;29(3):198-203.