Diet and Nutrition

Do Almonds Have Benefits for Diabetic Patients?

Studies suggest that almonds may play an essential role in controlling diabetes.

Do Almonds Have Benefits for Diabetic Patients?

Are there potential benefits with eating almonds for diabetes? Diabetes is a long-term condition directly affected by what you eat and drink. While eating almonds and drinking almond milk will not reverse your diabetes or replace medical treatments, they may help you manage your diabetes and ward off the risks of complications.

Food Control is Important

Want a snack? Well, that’s okay, but you have to just snack on the right foods. Everyone knows that almonds are tasty and nutritious, but did you also know that they are really good for diabetic patients?

First, almonds help with blood sugar control. Almonds have been shown to improve blood sugar control. In a 2011 study, a group of 20 diabetic patients ate 60 grams of almonds a day. All of the participants experienced lower levels of insulin and blood sugar.

Almonds are great even if you have prediabetes. The American Diabetes Associate states that prediabetics have a high risk of developing both heart disease and type 2 diabetes in a short period of time. 

In a 2010 study, indications proved that a diet rich in almonds can help ease prediabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels.

Snack on almonds and drink almond milk when possible. Unsweetened almond milk is also low in carbs and sugars than dairy milk. In comparison, a cup of unsweetened almond milk has 3.43 g of carbs and 2.12 g of sugars while a cup of low-fat dairy milk contains 12.8 g of carbs and 12.69 g of sugars. Make sure to check your almond milk carton to see if it has any added sugars.

Diabetes is one of the most controllable risks for heart disease. Diabetic patients are at least two to four times more likely to die from heart disease than those who do not have diabetes. 

  • Eat tree nuts. Almonds may help in the prevention of heart disease.
  • In 2017, data was analyzed from three large studies and showed that eating almonds may correlate with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Research from 2018 suggests that almonds may help reduce the risk of heart failure.

Why are almonds so good for you?

  1. Almonds have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These fats help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol. On the other side, these healthy fats help increase high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. Drink almond milk. It has beneficial fats, but in amounts lower than the whole nut. Almonds and almond milk are high in vitamin E. Vitamin E protects cholesterol against oxidation, which is also a high-risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as research states. Drink a cup of almond milk that contains 16.58 milligrams of vitamin E, which is more than the average recommended requirement of 15 mg for adults.
  2. Keeping your weight at a healthy level is essential for people with diabetes. Obesity increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Losing weight may help those with prediabetes to delay or prevent the onset of type 3 diabetes. Almonds are high in fibers, healthy fats, and proteins. Almonds are great for weight management. Eat a handful of almonds, and they may increase your feeling of fullness. Research states that tree nuts help people maintain and achieve a healthy weight. In 2017, a review of tree nuts stated that eating almonds do not cause weight gain. They contain a high number of calories, but other benefits outweigh the disadvantages of calories. In 2018, a study suggested those who eat nuts have a lower risk of being overweight and gain less weight over time — a 5 year study researched lifestyle and dietary data from over 373,000 people, aged 25 to 70 years from 10 European countries.
  3. Almonds have more magnesium. One ounce or up to 23 almonds contain 77 mg of magnesium. One ounce also contains about 18 percent of a male’s suggested dietary allowance and up to 25 percent of what a female needs daily. Diabetic patients usually have low levels of magnesium as well. 

Almonds contain high levels of fiber and are a perfect source of plant-based proteins. Macronutrients in a cup of raw almonds contain 828 calories, 30.82 g of carbohydrates, 17.90 g of fiber, 6.22 g of sugars, 30.24 g of proteins, and 71.40 g of fats.

Micronutrients in a cup of raw almonds include: 385 mg of calcium 62 mcg of folate, 5.310 mg of iron, 386 mg of magnesium, 5.174 mg of niacin, 688 mg of phosphorus, 1,048 mg of potassium, 1,627 mg of riboflavin, 1 mg of sodium, 0.293 mg of thiamin, 3 IUs of vitamin A, 0.196 mg of vitamin B-6, 36.650 mg of vitamin E, and 4.460 mg of zinc.

How many almonds should you eat per day?

Almonds are very healthy, but you should eat no more than a quarter of a cup every day. Almonds have a high level of calories and fats, so you must choose almonds that are unsalted and do not have honey, sugar or chocolate. Watch the salt in almonds to prevent blood and heart problems.

Almonds are great, and you can eat other unsalted nuts for snacks. Peanuts may improve blood sugar control, pistachios can improve blood sugar control, and walnuts may help reduce your risk for type 2 dibetes.

The conclusion? Almonds products are great if you have diabetes, or even if you don’t have sugar issues. Whole almonds' main benefits are sugar control, weight management, and heart health.