One-sixth of the world’s more than 360 million diabetes patients are already in India, and by the year 2030, the number of diabetes patients in India is expected to touch more than 100 million people. As per the Public Health Foundation of India, nearly 52% of Indians, who are diabetic, are not aware that they may be suffering from diabetes. Diet is extremely important when managing diabetes, and ensuring a healthy well balanced diet is essential.

Almond research studies indicate that adding almonds to a healthy diet has beneficial effects on body fat, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, which may lower risk for heart disease in adults with type 2 diabetes. For these adults, almonds may also help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress. Compared to a high-carbohydrate breakfast without almonds, including almonds at breakfast may help stabilize blood sugar levels and feeling of fullness for the better part of the day.

Being a low glycemic food, almonds are a healthy, convenient, on-the-go snack for people with and without type 2 diabetes. Low glycemic foods cause very small increases in blood glucose levels, in comparison to ‘high glycemic’ foods which cause very large increases in blood sugar levels.

A study, published in the June 2010 Journal of the American College of Nutrition, illustrates that consuming a diet rich in almonds (two servings/day) can help improve insulin sensitivity and may also help decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with pre-diabetes. The study looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet as it relates to the progression of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with pre-diabetes.

After 16 weeks of consuming either an almond-enriched or regular diet, both of which conformed to American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, the group that consumed an almond-enriched diet showed statistically significant improvement in measures of insulin sensitivity and clinically significant improvements in LDL-cholesterol levels (which did not reach statistical significance). Both of these measures are risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

According to Sheela Krishnaswamy, Diet, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, “As increasing numbers of people are diagnosed with diabetes, we know that healthy eating—in combination with increasing physical activity and maintaining a healthy weight—can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Delicious, nutrient-rich almonds offer natural goodness in every bite and, as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle, make a tasty and convenient option for people with and without type 2 diabetes”.

Almonds can be incorporated in a daily diet through some fun, easy and innovative recipes – Roasted Almonds with Coriander, Chilli and Olive Oil

Makes 10 servings
• 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
• 300g blanched almonds
• 1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
• 1 to 3 small dried red chilli peppers
• 2 generous pinches of sea salt

Add the olive oil and almonds to a hot sauté pan. Sauté and toast the almonds until golden brown, shaking the pan regularly to colour them evenly and accentuate their nutty flavor. Crumble in the coriander and chilli to taste, and add the sea salt. Experiment with your favourite flavors and spices to make a personalized snack you can carry in a small container in your handbag for whenever hunger strikes.

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