There’s a very simple way to manage your blood sugar levels. It’s so easy you can do it while sitting, watching TV, or reading a book: munching on almonds. These flexible and nutrition-packed nuts are known to have awesome medicinal value and one of the diseases they can help treat is diabetes. Research has shown that almonds can help regulate blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and blood fats – three important factors that affect diabetes. Snacking on these can help stave off type-2 diabetes and other diseases like cancer and cardiovascular illnesses.
Type-2 diabetes (also called non-insulin-dependent) stems from the body’s ineffective use of insulin. This affects millions of people globally and is largely the result of physical inactivity and excess body weight. While its symptoms are similar to type-1 diabetes, they are often less marked. This could mean that the condition can be diagnosed only when the complications manifest themselves. Interestingly, type-2 diabetes used to be common only in adults but there’s now an increasing frequency in children.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the prevalence of diabetes among adults has significantly increased from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014; the total number of people afflicted with diabetes has spiked from 108 million in 1980 to 422 million in 2014. It’s also quickly rising in underdeveloped countries.
It’s known to be as a major cause of blindness, heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke, and lower limb amputation. It’s treatable and can be avoided by making certain lifestyle changes. Healthy diet and regular physical activity are just among the things you can do to prevent it. In 2012, 2.2 million deaths were attributed to high blood glucose; these deaths occurred before the age of 70 years. By 2030, WHO foresees that diabetes will become the seventh leading cause of death.
“Understanding healthy snacking and having an arsenal of calorie-smart, nutrient-rich snack foods to reach for can make it easier for people to manage their type-2 diabetes,” said Lucy Jones, nutrition consultant. “A handful of almonds is one such snack I recommend because research shows they are satiating, can be eaten with weight gain, and are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E,” she added.
Almonds have tremendous health benefits. They help regulate weight, which is one of the risk factors for diabetes. They contain mono-saturated fat that helps you feel full longer, which keeps you from overeating. Its high fiber content will satiate you even if you’ve just eaten a small amount. Studies have shown that those who regularly eat almonds are more likely to maintain their ideal weight.
These nuts minimize the reactionary rise in glucose and insulin levels after each meal. This helps prevent the sudden (and dangerous) spike in blood sugar levels, which is common after large meals. Almonds regulate proper absorption and processing of glucose.
There’s no shortage of evidence that proves almonds’ positive effects on diabetes. In a 2015 research published in the European Journal of Nutrition, women who consumed as much as 42 g of almonds as a mid-morning snack were successful in controlling their appetite and decreased their daily caloric intake.
Another study published in the same journal in 2013 showed how almonds help control hunger in adults at risk of type-2 diabetes. The participants consumed 42 g of dry-roasted, lightly salted almonds each day for weeks and did not pack on additional pounds.
Of course, keeping diabetes at bay requires more than snacking on almonds and other superfoods. You need to exercise regularly, watch your diet, quit smoking, keep blood pressure under control, and limit alcohol intake.