Almonds are not only delicious, they’re also effective for managing blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics.
Almonds Benefit Type 2 Diabetics
A meta-review of 12 similar studies showed a daily intake of about ½ cup (2 ounces) of tree nuts over an eight week time period significantly reduces HemoglobinA1c and fasting glucose in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, pecans, and cashews. This is not only great news for diabetics, but also non-diabetics since blood sugar spikes aren’t healthy for anyone.
A Few Reasons Tree Nuts Benefit Type 2 Diabetics
Tree nuts may be effective at helping diabetics for a few reasons.
First, the nuts replace simple carbohydrate choices which are known to spike your blood sugar.
Second, tree nuts are digested and absorbed more slowly due to their fat, fiber, and protein content. This slower absorption in turn slows down the conversion to blood glucose. This is a good thing! Go here to learn more about the disadvantage of the blood sugar rollercoaster.
Third, the fiber, protein and fat content in almonds means it only takes a handful to keep you feeling full and satisfied so you won't have the urge to overeat. Maintaining a healthy weight or losing weight is critical for diabetics. When someone has Type 2 diabetes, even a little weight loss can lead to huge improvements in blood sugar control.
Nutritional Benefits of Almonds
Almonds pack a big punch nutritionally speaking as well. They’re rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber, while being naturally low in sugar. They’re packed with healthy unsaturated fat without any cholesterol. Of all tree nuts, almonds rank highest in protein, fiber, calcium, vitamin E, riboflavin and niacin content by weight. There are 160 calories in 23 almonds, with the majority of these calories coming from healthy fat.
The Union Square Cafe’s Bar Nuts
There are numerous ways to include almonds on a daily basis. You can simply eat raw almonds or try this mixed nut variety mix. This mix sounds very addicting so enjoy and don’t forget to monitor your portion sizes.
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Toss the nuts in a large bowl to combine and spread them out on a baking sheet. Toast in the oven until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
3. In a large bowl, combine the rosemary, cayenne, sugar, salt and melted butter.
4. Thoroughly toss the toasted nuts in the spiced butter and serve warm.
Enjoy your almonds and nut mix!
In Health and Happiness,
Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods
1. Viguiliouk E, Kendall CW, Blanco Mejia S. Cozma AI, Ha V, Mirrahimi A, Jayalath VH, Augustin LS, Chiavaroli L, Leiter LA, de Souza RJ, Jenkinds DJ, Sievenpiper JL. Effect of Tree Nuts on Glycemic Control in Diabetes: A Systematic Review adn Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Dietary Trials. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 30;9(7).
2. Recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson.