Consumption of two servings of pistachios per day in diabetics reduces vascular occlusion during times of stress and improves cardiac neurological control. Although nuts are high in fat, they are good for fat, fiber, potassium and antioxidants.
Due to the high risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, nuts are an important part of their heart health diet.
In this study, the effect of pistachios on the response to work stress in patients with controlled type 2 diabetes who were healthy in terms of other diseases was investigated. Participants received the same caloric intake.
After two weeks of following a normal American diet containing 36% fat and 12% saturated fat, participants were divided into two groups. The study period was 4 weeks during which people had to consume only the intended foods. This diet is in accordance with the standard heart health diet, which contains 27% fat and 7% saturated fat and includes two servings of pistachios, which provide about 3 ounces or 20% of the diet’s calories. This amount of pistachios is equivalent to 150 grams per day, which contains 33% fat and 7% saturated fat. Half of the nuts consumed were considered salty and the other half raw.
At the end of 4 weeks, blood pressure and peripheral vascular resistance were measured both at rest and during two stress tests – cold water and complex mental arithmetic test.
After the pistachio diet, the blood vessels are more relaxed and remain open during the stress test. Although laboratory blood pressure readings were not affected by pistachios, the actual blood pressure readings (measured by automatic monitors) were significantly lower after receiving pistachios.
The results showed that systolic blood pressure during sleep was particularly affected by pistachios. The average blood pressure during sleep is reduced by about 4 degrees, which can reduce the workload of the heart.
The researchers found that a diet containing pistachios reduced stiffness and vasoconstriction during stress. As the arteries dilate, the load on the heart decreases.
The physical stress was by dipping one hand in ice water for two minutes. Cold water stress causes a wide response to vascular stiffness in most people. Pistachio diet reduces vascular response to stress compared to low fat diet. A similar pattern was observed in participants who participated in complex mental arithmetic tests. Practical Tip: People with diabetes should include two servings of pistachios in their daily diet to reduce their risk of heart disease.