Almonds May Protect Against Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk

December 5, 2006

1 Min Read
Almonds May Protect Against Heart Disease, Diabetes Risk

A study published in the Dec. issue of the Journal of Nutrition found that eating almonds may play a role in avoiding blood sugar spikes after consuming a carbohydrate-rich meal of foods that raise blood sugar levels. Additionally, the study shows that eating almonds can help prevent oxidative stress (see http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/136/12/2987).

We found that eating almonds can have a significant impact in blunting the gylcemic and insulin responses of the body when fed with a carbohydrate meal, says co-author Cyril Kendall, Ph.D., medical researcher, Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Toronto. Almonds have already been found to reduce LDL cholesterol levels and contain a variety of important nutrients. This new research shows that incorporating almonds in the diet may help in the management of blood glucose levels and the onset of such illnesses as diabetes, while promoting a healthy heart.

Researchers gave healthy men and women four different test meals, each containing 50 grams of carbohydrate. The control test meal contained white bread. The second meal contained white bread and 60 grams of almonds. The third meal contained parboiled rice, and the fourth meal contained instant mashed potatoes.

The parboiled rice and mashed potato meals were balanced with the almond meal for fat, protein, and total energy, with the addition of fat (unsalted butter) and protein (Cheddar cheese). Participants ate the test meals on five different occasions and then had their blood drawn to check glucose, insulin and antioxidant levels.

The subjects who ate the almond meal and parboiled rice meal showed significantly lower rises in blood sugar. Further, the group who ate almonds showed the least amount of damage from free radicals in their blood samples.

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