Research suggests that incorporating almonds into your diet can help prevent type 2 diabetes in people with prediabetes.
Prediabetes is a condition in which the levels of blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
With prediabetes, your body may be producing less insulin, your insulin sensitivity may be decreasing, or a combination of both. Insulin regulates blood glucose, helping your body turn carbohydrates into energy.
If your body has insufficient insulin or is resistant to it, the sugar is not able to enter the cells and stays in your bloodstream, leading to a higher blood glucose level that may result in diabetes.
A study conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet on 65 adults with prediabetes.
The participants were split up, and the group on the almond-enriched diet showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and clinically significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol compared with the nut-free group.
Lead researcher Dr Michelle Wien confirms almonds can improve insulin sensitivity so the glucose levels can be better controlled. Furthermore, eating almonds can also help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
“It is promising for those with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development,” said Dr Wien.
Around 60 million people in Europe have prediabetes and people with the condition have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes.
Almonds are cholesterol free and compared with other nuts, they are the highest in six essential nutrients – vitamin E, fiber, protein, copper, potassium, and magnesium.