Including almonds as a regular part of meals or as a snack has many health benefits for people at risk of diabetes.
Nuts are a healthy addition to any diet. Even though nuts are high in fat, most of this is the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated types. Nuts are also a good source of protein, fibre and vitamin E and a host of other nutrients. As part of a healthy diet, nuts raise little concern about weight gain and may offer some degree of protection from heart disease.
Nuts often appear on the top of dietitians’ lists of recommended snacks to consume. So what benefits can these nutrient powerhouses offer when included as part of regular snacking?
As part of a 4-week randomised-controlled clinical trial, 137 adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes consumed 43 grams of almonds each day. The nuts were eaten either at breakfast, lunch, as a mid-morning snack, afternoon snack, or not at all (the control group).
Compared to the control group, eating almonds showed favourable benefits on blood glucose levels and helped lower subjective feelings of hunger and desire to eat. These effects on glucose and appetite were more pronounced when the nuts were eaten as snacks between meals than with a meal.
Without any advice on making dietary changes, those people eating the almonds naturally reduced the overall amount of food they ate to compensate for the extra kilojoules coming from the almonds.
What it all means
Guidance to include nuts, especially almonds according to this latest research, as a regular snack is advice well worth adopting.