Another way to ward off or thwart the effects of diabetes is to eat an ounce of nuts every day. Nuts (including legumes like peanuts) are notorious for being high in protein, fiber and low in carbs – which can help keep your blood sugar under control.   A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that women who ate nuts or peanut butter, which are jam-packed with “good” mono and polyunsaturated fats, at least five times a week had a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of diabetes. Be careful to stick with an ounce as nuts and/or nut butters as they are high-calorie, so watch the portions! Here is a glance of what an ounce of some my nut faves look like …

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Evolve your eating by replacing fatty cuts of red or processed meats, full fat dairy products and/or refined grain products with nuts. As much as you can eat them whole and raw, enjoy nuts in the ground form as a flour for baking, chopped over salads, pureed in pesto to top roasted veggies or whole grain pasta.  Your blood sugar levels will be better off for it!

My family loves pesto. The beauty of this recipe is it’s simple and you can use any nuts you like.  It’s worth breaking out your food processor – I promise!

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What to do: In a food processor, pulse 1/4 cup of shelled pistachios for a few seconds and toss in a bunch of fresh basil leaves – about 2 cups.  Pulse until combined and add a cup of freshly shaved parmesan cheese (use a microplane for simple and delicate shavings).  Mix in a garlic clove and 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil and mix well.  Scrape the sides with a spatula and pulse for a few seconds to combine the excess. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy over baked tofu, chicken or veggie pasta.

Nutrition Information (per ounce serving): 152 calories, 14 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 9 mg cholesterol, 148 mg sodium, 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 0 grams sugar, 5 g protein 

Enjoy!

-VSR