Observe World Diabetes Day with Almonds

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Adopting healthy eating habits is high on the list of recommendations for diabetes prevention and management. In fact, multiple recent scientific studies have shown that a healthy diet that includes almonds every day shows promise in helping to improve certain risk factors for diabetes and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Today, World Diabetes Day, marks a global effort for awareness and education about the disease, which is expected to affect 8% of the global population by 2025.  

Most recently, a study published in Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental (Chen et al) demonstrated that incorporating almonds into a diet designed using the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) step II dietary guidelines, which recommend less than 7 percent daily calories from saturated fat and less than 200 mg cholesterol daily, improved insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes.

The results from this study support the findings of a similar study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in June 2010. Data from this study suggested that consuming an almond-enriched diet may help those with prediabetes improve insulin sensitivity and maintain healthy levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. The study looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet on factors linked to the progression of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with prediabetes.

After 16 weeks of consuming either an almond-enriched or nut-free diet, both in accordance with American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, the group that consumed an almond-enriched diet showed statistically significant improvements in measures of insulin sensitivity and clinically significant improvements in LDL-cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

“While further research is needed to confirm this relationship, it is especially helpful to understand that almond consumption might be beneficial in the early, or prediabetes, stage," says Jenny Heap, MS, RD, Health Professional Marketing Manager, Almond Board of California.

For more information on almonds and diabetes, delicious almond recipes, or for ideas on how to incorporate almonds into a healthy diet, please visit www.AlmondBoard.com.

For more information on World Diabetes Day, visit www.worlddiabetesday.org.