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Almonds: Good for People with Diabetes
Almonds are nuts loaded with nutrients. They contain fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Almonds are also a good source of many minerals for example calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
Almonds provide vitamin E which is a potent anti-oxidant. Almond skin contains flavonoids which have anti-oxidant property.
Diabetic friendly almonds
In a study, in which the participants were Asian Indians with type 2 diabetes (T2D), they were given sufficient almonds to meet 20 % of their total energy intake for 24 weeks. The results showed that HbA1c decreased significantly compared to their levels when they were consuming control diet (1).
The incorporation of almonds in white bread reduced the glycaemic index of the composite meal in a dose-dependent manner in another research work. It was concluded that almonds may decrease the glycaemic impact of carbohydrate foods when consumed along with them (2).
Almonds are a good source of dietary fiber, about 12 % (3, 4). Dietary fiber is known to have hypoglycaemic effect and helps in regulating blood glucose levels (5).
Being a good source of dietary fiber makes almonds a diabetic friendly food.
Almonds improve lipid profile
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) affect about 32.2% of people with type 2 diabetes. CVD is a major cause of death among people with T2D globally (6). Therefore, it is essential to manage CVD risk factors along with blood glucose levels for people with diabetes (7).
Dyslipidemia is one of the most important risk factors of CVDs. Dyslipidemia is elevated levels of total cholesterol or LDL-C levels and a low HDL-C levels. Having almonds (about 45 grams) everyday can help reduce dyslipedemia in Indians. Incorporating almonds in the diet is a safe way of tackling dyslipidemia (8).
Almonds about 40 grams a day may also have the ability to reduce central adiposity along with non‐HDL‐C, LDL‐C while maintaining HDL‐C concentrations (9).
The time when almonds are eaten also has an effect on the body. If they are eaten as a snack in between meals instead of a high carbohydrate snack which has same calorific value they are more effective in improving lipid profile rather than consuming almonds just before the meal (10).
The onset of hypertension and diabetes mellitus predict each other over a period of time (11). Almonds are low in sodium content (3) and can be safe for people with hypertension too.
Obesity, especially central obesity is a risk factor of T2D and almonds may have a positive influence on weight. As almonds improve lipid profile and heart diseases are more common in people with diabetes, almonds can be one of the foods that are diabetic friendly.
A diabetic diet should be personalized based on individual needs. Certain foods in general are beneficial if included in the diet. A fistful of almonds a day would be a healthy addition to a diabetic diet.
- Gulati, S., Misra, A. and Pandey, R. M. (2017) Effect of Almond Supplementation on Glycemia and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Asian Indians in North India with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A 24-Week Study, Metabolic syndrome and related disorders. Vol.15 (2).
- Josse, A.R., Kendall, C.W.C., Augustin, L.S.A., Ellis, P.R. and Jenkins, D.J.A. (2007) Almonds and postprandial glycemia—a dose-response study, Metabolism. Vol. 56 (3).
- Richardson, D., Astrup, A., Cocaul, A. and Ellis, P. (2009) The nutritional and health benefits of almonds: a healthy food choice, Food Science & Technology Bulletin: Functional Foods. Vol. 6 (4). 10.1616/1476-2137.15765. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250058086_The_nutritional_and_health_benefits_of_almonds_a_healthy_food_choice
- United States Department of Agriculture, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. Basic Report: 12061, Nuts, almonds
- Perry, J.R. and Ying, W. (2016) A Review of Physiological Effects of Soluble and Insoluble Dietary Fibres, J Nutr Food Sci. Vol.6 (4).
- Einarson, T. R., Acs, A., Ludwig, C. and Panton, U. H. (2018) Prevalence of cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes: a systematic literature review of scientific evidence from across the world in 2007-2017, Cardiovascular diabetology. Vol. 17(1).
- Mancini, G.B.J., Hegele, R.A. and Leiter, L.A. (2018) Dyslipidemia, Canadian Journal of Diabetes. Vol. 42(1).
- Kalita, S., Khandelwal, S., Madan, J., Pandya, H., Sesikeran, B. and Krishnaswamy, K. (2018) Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review, Nutrients. Vol. 10(4). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5946253/
- Berryman, C. E., West, S. G., Fleming, J. A., Bordi, P. L. and Kris-Etherton, P. M. (2015) Effects of daily almond consumption on cardiometabolic risk and abdominal adiposity in healthy adults with elevated LDL-cholesterol: A randomized controlled trial, Journal of the American Heart Association. Vol. 4(1).
- Liu, Y., Hwang, H. J., Ryu, H., Lee, Y. S., Kim, H. S. and Park, H. (2017) The effects of daily intake timing of almond on the body composition and blood lipid profile of healthy adults, Nutrition research and practice.Vol.11(6).
- Tsimihodimos, V., Gonzalez-Villalpando, C., Meigs, J.B. and Ferrannini, E. (2018) Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus , Hypertension. Vol.71 (3).