Want more tips and tricks for reaching your health goals? Join Lark!

Take our 2-minute survey to find out if you’re eligible to join Lark which includes a smart scale and the chance to earn a Fitbit®.
Start now
*Terms and conditions apply
Close icon

Does your insurance cover daily coaching and a smart scale from Lark?

Find out now with our 2-minute eligibility quiz!
Check my eligibility
Close icon
< Back to Resource Center
< Back to Member Blog

Are Nuts Good for Prediabetes?

September 22, 2022
Are Nuts Good for Prediabetes? - Lark Health

Are you at risk of prediabetes?

Lark can help lower your risk for Type 2 Diabetes through healthy habit formation, and data tracking.
Height: 5 ft 4 in
4' 0"
7' 0"
Weight: 160 lbs
90 lbs
500 lbs
Risk Level
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What could 15% weight loss mean for you?

Feel more energetic and significantly reduce your risk of chronic conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

By clicking the button above, you agree to the Lark Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and SMS Terms.

Current Weight: 250 lbs
120 lbs
500 lbs
Your weight loss could be*
- - lbs
Your new weight: -- lbs
Am I eligible?

By clicking the button above, you agree to the Lark Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, and SMS Terms.

*Results may vary. Based on the average weight loss in three, 68-week clinical trials of patients without diabetes who reached and maintained a dose of 2.4mg/week of GLP-1 treatment, along with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activity. View study here.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

In this article:

  • Nuts have many health benefits. Eating them regularly may help lower risk for diabetes, weight gain, and other chronic conditions.
  • Nutrients in nuts include heart-healthy fats, dietary fiber, cholesterol-lowering sterols, and some vitamins and minerals.
  • Since they're high in fat and calories, it's best to keep portions to a half-ounce or 1 ounce. It's also a good idea to eat them on their own or with other healthy foods, while limiting less-healthy versions such as toffee or chocolate-coated nuts, chocolate nut spreads, and brownies or other baked goods with nuts.
  • Lark can help you form healthy habits for prediabetes. Lark helps you choose healthier foods to lose weight and lower blood sugar.

Are nuts good for prediabetes? Can eating nuts lower your risk of getting diabetes? What is the glycemic index of nuts? Is nut milk okay if you have prediabetes? And why does Lark give green badges for eating nuts?

If you have prediabetes, you're at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing weight, if you are overweight, and choosing healthier foods, can lower risk for diabetes by over 50%. That's the basis for the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP). Let's see how nuts affect weight and blood sugar, and how they can fit into weight loss and healthy eating goals to lower diabetes risk.

Nutrients in Nuts

Nuts are full of healthy nutrients. Linus Pauling Institute has an overview of nutrients in nuts, including the following.

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which can lower risk for heart disease when you choose them instead of saturated fats.
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which are also heart-healthy and are the famous main type of fat in a Mediterranean-style diet.
  • Protein, which can make you feel full for longer after you eat a meal so you are not as hungry by the next snack or meal time.
  • Fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
  • Phytosterols, which help lower cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin E, which has antioxidant properties.
  • Minerals, including potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese.

Nuts and Diabetes Risk

Research shows that nuts are good for prediabetes. Studies published in AJCN and JAMA found lower risk diabetes among people who ate nuts regularly compared to those who didn't. Walnuts had a similar effect in a study published in Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews. And research in PLOS One saw lower fasting blood glucose and a healthier insulin response among nut eaters.

Nuts and Weight Loss

Nuts are high in calories and fat. Most nuts have 160 to 200 calories, and 13 to 20 grams of fat, per ounce. You might expect them to be bad for weight loss. But, research says the opposite! People who eat nuts regularly tend to gain less weight as adults and have a lower risk for obesity, according to a study published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Glycemic Index of Nuts

Nuts have a low glycemic index. That's good because foods with a high glycemic index, such as sweets and white rice, can spike blood sugar and cause an unhealthily big insulin response. Eating a high-glycemic diet can raise risk for diabetes, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

Eating a serving of nuts doesn't lead to an unhealthy spike in blood sugar levels. That's good news if you have prediabetes. The fat, fiber, and protein nuts are probably responsible for their low glycemic index.

Plus, nuts have a low total carbohydrate count. That means they also have a low glycemic load, not just a low glycemic index. That's even better! A diet with a lower glycemic load is linked to less risk of developing diabetes.

Best Nuts for Prediabetes

Different nut varieties have similar nutrient profiles. They likely have similar effects on blood sugar, weight, and diabetes risk. However, there are some slight variations. These are examples.

  • Peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and almonds are high in MUFA.
  • Walnuts have omega-3 PUFA.
  • Pistachio nuts, almonds, peanuts, and cashews are lowest in calories.
  • Almonds, cashews, pine nuts, and pistachios are highest in phytosterols.
  • Peanuts, walnuts, and almonds are highest in protein.

Still, the differences are fairly small. It's likely that nuts can help whether you choose a variety or stick to your favorite kind.

Guidelines for Nuts and Prediabetes

Since nuts are high in calories and fat, it's important to have the right amounts. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say most adults should have 4 to 5 ounces of nuts per week, or about 1/2 to 1 ounce daily. A 1/2 - ounce is about this much. 

  • 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butter.
  • 12 almonds
  • 6 walnuts (12 halves)
  • 25 pistachio nuts
  • 8 cashews
  • 9 pecans
  • 4 Brazil nuts

Ways to Eat Nuts for Diabetes Prevention

Along with keeping the portion size of nuts small, the best ways to eat nuts for diabetes prevention are on their own or with other nutritious foods. These are some ways to enjoy nuts.

  • In cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
  • Peanut or almond butter and berries on whole-wheat bread.
  • Apple, celery, or carrots with peanut or almond butter.
  • In stir fry.
  • In green salads and prepared salads, such as pasta salad.
  • In homemade veggie burgers.
  • Ground up as a crumb coating for fish or chicken instead of flour.

You might aim to eat 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce of nuts on most days.

Some nut products and dishes are less healthy, though. These are some foods with nuts or peanuts that are less nutritious.

  • Honey roasted and toffee and chocolate-covered peanuts and nuts
  • Chocolate hazelnut and chocolate peanut spread
  • Peanut butter cookies, pecan pie, brownies with walnuts, and other sugary or fatty baked goods.
  • Granola bars and chocolate bars with added sugars and fats.

With some care, nuts can help lower risk for diabetes!

Losing weight and eating well can have big returns. They can boost health, energy, and confidence. And they can be part of your daily routine. You can even eat your favorite foods and lose weight.

Lark makes weight loss and healthy eating simple. With Lark, weight loss and healthy living happen when you make small changes that fit into your lifestyle. Lark offers tips, tracking, instant feedback, and friendly suggestions. Over time, small healthy changes can become habits for long-term success. Your personal Lark coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss. 

The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.

About Lark

Lark helps you eat better, move more, stress less, and improve your overall wellness. Lark’s digital coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone to give you personalized tips, recommendations, and motivation to lose weight and prevent chronic conditions like diabetes.

Read more

Get healthier with Lark & earn a Fitbit®

Lose weight, get more active, and eat better.
take 1-minute survey

See if Ozempic® is covered by insurance

Curb cravings and reach your weight loss goals!

Similar posts

When and How to Assess Hunger Levels for Weight and HealthWhen and How to Assess Hunger Levels for Weight and Health

When and How to Assess Hunger Levels for Weight and Health

“Listen to your body” is a recommendation you may have heard. Listening to your body includes noticing hunger and fullness, and responding appropriately.

Learn more
300-Calorie Workouts to Support Weight Loss and Maintenance300-Calorie Workouts to Support Weight Loss and Maintenance

300-Calorie Workouts to Support Weight Loss and Maintenance

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest getting at least 300 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity to maximize health gains and improve your chances ...

Learn more
It’s National Frozen Food Month!It’s National Frozen Food Month!

It’s National Frozen Food Month!

March is National Frozen Food Month. It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can use frozen foods to support health and weight management.

Learn more