Diabetes prevention: Can eating almonds help regulate sugar, blood pressure levels in people with pre-diabetes?
With both pre-diabetes and diabetes, there’s an acute need of bringing in good lifestyle changes and dietary modifications which will help manage elevated blood sugar levels and control other flare-ups. Having said that, there are certain types of foods which must be had on a regular basis, such as nuts and seeds.
While it’s important to include some nuts and seeds (in moderate quantities), newer studies have particularly proven how beneficial almonds could be in curbing risk factors associated with pre-diabetes amongst younger people. How exactly helpful are they really? Lets’ find out.
Health benefits of having almonds
Almonds are one of the healthiest forms of nuts that we have and offer plentiful benefits. It has been long believed that snacking on almonds regularly can also help manage vital health and improve blood sugar levels, cholesterol, bone health and promote weight loss as well.
A handful of almonds (roughly 28 grams) contains:
Fibre: 3.5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Carbs: 2.5 grams
Fat: 14 grams
37% recommended Vitamin E
32% recommended Magnesium
What have studies found?
According to a new study conducted in Mumbai, regular consumption of almonds has been found to improve glucose metabolism in younger adults and adolescents suffering from pre-diabetes.
The study, which was a controlled trial conducted in people aged between 16-25 years old studied the effects of having almonds on metabolic dysfunction and selected inflammatory markers. The focus group was given 56-grams (roughly 340 calories) of unroasted almonds to snack on each day. In contrast, the non-focus group was given a regular savoury snack to have.
While the participants were measured on the basis of their weight, height, waist-hip circumference and fasting glucose levels, post the study’s findings, it was established that there was a considerable difference in their blood glucose levels. Although no differences were observed on other parameters, it was seen that people in the control group recorded significantly lower glucose levels than the ones who did not consume almonds from the start. Some differences regarding total cholesterol and LDL levels were also observed.
It was thus established that consumption of almonds was linked to lower levels of fasting blood glucose levels and slight alterations in biochemical markers.
How do almonds benefit in lowering blood glucos e levels?
While prediabetes is a big risk factor, it is said that alterations, lifestyle changes and controlled fasting blood sugar levels could delay the onset and development of diabetes.
As per experts, almonds, are predominantly associated with lowering the LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels, or bad cholesterol in the body and raising good cholesterol levels, which help reduce inflammation and heart disease, which are also additional risk factors for a prediabetic/ diabetic person.
The significantly high concentration of magnesium present in almonds additionally help prevent and manage the development of Type 2 diabetes in people. For a prediabetic, it may help regulate insulin secretion and better manage the prognosis. They reduce oxidative stress, which is a key factor responsible for diabetes and heart disease. One serving of almonds can fulfil your daily magnesium requirements.
Having almonds, along with other helpful dietary practices and physical activity can certainly help make a difference and manage sugar levels in the long run.
What other things should you know?
While almonds are a good snacking source for diabetics (and pre-diabetics), there are certain things to remember while having them:
-Unsalted and raw almonds are the best.
-Overnight or soaked almonds can also be had.
-Stick to the daily recommended requirement for better health. Focus on having 8-10 (or a handful) or almonds a day.
-Also avoid almonds that have added sugar or honey coating on them.
To incorporate more almonds into your diet, you can try adding them to your bowl of oats, muesli, top them off in a bowl of yoghurt and fresh fruits, choose almond milk, sprinkle on top of salads or cooked greens, or use almond flour in your everyday chapatis.
Apart from almonds, some other healthy nuts for a diabetic or a prediabetic patient include peanuts, pistachios, walnuts.