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Pistachios and Diabetes - Blood Sugar Management

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on August 03, 2023
Medically reviewed by Jack Yacoubian Article author photo Jack  Yacoubian


The American Diabetes Association recommends daily nuts, as they are diabetes superfoods, especially those with high fiber content and a low glycemic index. In this case, pistachios are a good example. 

We'll go through the benefits of eating pistachios and discuss how they can help with high blood sugar levels.

Type-2 Diabetes

Pistachios have a low glycemic index and may help to reduce the risk of diabetes or diabetic complications. The estimated glycemic index of pistachios is 28.

One study [1] shows that pistachios have glucose and insulin-lowering effects, promote a healthier metabolic profile, and reverse prediabetes's irreversible deleterious effects.

Fasting glucose, insulin, and HOMA of insulin resistance decreased significantly after the pistachio-supplemented diet. Other cardiometabolic risk markers, such as fibrinogen and oxidized LDL, were significantly lower with the pistachio-supplemented diet (1).

However, HbA1c levels were not significantly changed.

Another research shows pistachio intake can help to enhance the glucose and insulin metabolism of prediabetic patients and improve insulin resistance and other cardiovascular risk factors (2).

Pistachios are high in carbohydrates but have a low glycemic index because of their high fiber content. To find glycemic index values of 350 foods, visit the Glycemic index chart page.

When consumed daily, Pistachios and other nuts have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus significantly.

A study concluded that eating pistachios as a snack improves glycemic control, blood pressure, obesity, and inflammation markers in diabetic patients (3).

Another three-month study of 117 people with type 2 diabetes shows pistachios' beneficial effects on blood glucose levels. Based on the study, people with type 2 diabetes, who ate about two ounces of tree nuts as snacks instead of other carbohydrates, improved their long-term blood sugar control and lowered their cholesterol levels (4).

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined the effects of eating pistachios on blood glucose after a meal. The study showed that pistachios added to various common carbohydrate foods, such as rice and pasta, reduced the relative blood sugar response of the carbohydrate meals. And what is interesting, the higher the pistachio dose, the lower the blood sugar level (5).

Gestational Diabetes

Elevated blood sugar levels during pregnancy can impact both mother's and baby's health and increase the risk of diabetes in the baby.

Moderate nut consumption may benefit kidney health in women who have previously had gestational diabetes mellitus. this is mainly due to the fact that diabetes increases the risks of kidney damage, and with decreasing hyperglycemic episodes, we protect the kidneys. 


Women who did not consume nuts monthly or daily had adjusted UACR values 86 percent, 24 percent, and 117 percent higher than women who consumed nuts weekly. According to the study, women with a history of gestational diabetes at high risk of kidney disease may benefit from moderate nut consumption (6).


Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: August 03, 2023
Medically reviewed by Jack Yacoubian
Data provided by should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.