When you’ve got to let out yet another notch in your belt, it can feel like you’re losing the “battle of the bulge.”
As you age, those sneaky extra pounds really like to park themselves around your middle!
And unfortunately, excess belly fat isn’t just a drag when you’re getting dressed in the morning — it also ups your odds of developing diabetes.
Of course, shedding a few pounds is your best defense against that “ticking time bomb” in your belly.
But according to a new study, you can slash your risk of diabetes by snacking on something that you may have been told is “forbidden” — pecans!
In the study, Tufts University researchers divided overweight adults who had excess fat concentrated around their middles into two groups.
Members of each group ate identical diets in terms of calories, protein, carbs, and fats.
But those in the group whose daily diet included a small handful of pecans saw their risk factors for diabetes PLUMMET when compared to the control group.
Their blood sugar, insulin resistance, and beta cell function ALL improved!
And all it took was a month.
What’s more, those in the pecan group also lowered their markers for cardiometabolic disease — which includes factors like hypertension and high cholesterol — compared to the controls.
The theory is that the “good” fats and active plant compounds in pecans reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which protects your pancreas and heart from damage.
Now, I know that’s not what you may have heard. But I’m here to BUST the myth about nuts, whose fat and calorie contents WON’T derail your diet.
Just like other tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts, pecans are full of the fiber that holds blood sugar in check.
Pecans are also rich in manganese, and previous studies have shown that this trace mineral can benefit your blood sugar by increasing the amount of insulin that your pancreas secretes.
So, whether you’re battling the belly bulge or not, why not add a handful of pecans to your day?
Raw or dry-roasted pecans are delicious as a snack by themselves, or you can toss them into salads, vegetable dishes, or Greek yogurt for a nutty crunch.
Just steer clear of sweet treats like pecan pie and pralines, which will only spike your blood sugar and thicken your waistline.
Enjoying pecans as part of the the Paleo (a.k.a. “caveman”) diet — which eliminates all grains and sugars — is your best bet for zapping belly fat and putting diabetes in reverse.
And exercising at least twice weekly can also help “flatten” your spare tire.