A disease known as type II diabetes has grown exponentially in the United States within the last few decades. Type II diabetes means that the body uses insulin improperly. Blood glucose levels will spike high and often. The body will respond with extra insulin to process the sugar. Eventually, the pancreas will not keep up with all of this extra need for insulin, so it stops altogether. Type II diabetes can be caused by issues with nutrition and physical activity. Everyday health professionals and doctors continue to express the importance of diet and exercise as type II diabetes is a reversible and preventable disease. It is important to keep a healthy diet and to include sustainable foods, such as peanut butter!
November not only lets us celebrate American Diabetes Month, but it also is National Peanut Butter Month! Peanut butter and other nut butters contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which tend to keep blood glucose levels and insulin under control. A study from Rui Jiang looks at the relationship of the risk of type II diabetes and consumption of nut butter. This study found that generally women who consumed nut butter more often were less likely to be diagnosed with type II diabetes. Women who consumed nut butter more than five times a week were more likely to workout than women who had not consumed any nut butter. Having these unsaturated fats added to a diet tends to help keep the stomach fuller longer.
Nut butter is an easy way to add protein and fat to any snack. I just ran a half marathon in Des Moines and they had plain peanut butter on a spoon for the runners to consume after the race. Many people love nut butters after a tough workout because it contains fats and proteins that helps with protein and muscle recovery. Some of my favorite snacks rather than plain nut butter are peanut butter with rice cakes, bananas, apples, celery, or sometimes even carrots! November is a great time to educate yourself more about nutrition and type II diabetes!
Blog provided by Anna Colagrossi, ISU dietetic student