Snack On "These" to Fight Diabetes and High Cholesterol
There are many health benefits you can get from adding nuts to your weekly diet. Almonds, for example, are a wonderful healing food that could help balance your blood sugar levels, especially if you are a type 2 diabetic.
People often avoid nuts for the same reason they avoid avocados -- they are worried that nuts are too fattening. While nuts are high in calories if you eat them in moderation you shouldn't have trouble with gaining weight.
In a clinical trial, researchers conducted a randomized crossover trial that examined the impact of one serving of almonds at mealtime on postprandial (i.e. after a meal) glycemia. Both healthy individuals and individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus were recruited for the trial.
On two occasions separated by at least one week, 19 adults (including seven adults with type 2 diabetes mellitus) ate a standardized evening meal and fasted overnight before ingesting the test meal (juice, bagel, and butter) with or without almonds.
The research team found that a standard serving of almonds reduced postprandial glycemia significantly in participants with diabetes, but did not influence glycemia in participants without diabetes. They concluded that modest almond consumption improves both short-term and long-term markers of glucose control in individuals with uncomplicated type 2 diabetes mellitus.
What makes nuts like almonds so special?
The nutritional content in almonds alone is impressive. They are the best source of vitamin E. They are also higher in protein than most other vegetable sources. A 1/4 cup of almonds will net you 7.6 g of protein -- more than you get when you eat a large egg! Almonds are also a good source of riboflavin, iron, potassium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Worried about your cholesterol levels when it comes to eating almonds? Consider this: in a clinical trial completed at the Division of Human Nutrition, Adelaide, Australia, 16 male volunteers were recruited to study the effects of walnut and almonds on cholesterol levels. The participants consumed a diet providing 36% of energy as fat for nine weeks. A daily supplement of nuts (providing half of the total fat intake) was provided against a common background diet.
The researchers reached a surprising conclusion: compared with the reference diet, there were significant reductions in total and LDL cholesterol after nut supplementation. Specifically, there was a 10% reduction after supplementation with almonds, and a nine-percent reduction after supplementation with walnuts.
About the author
Dr. Victor Marchione received his Bachelor of Science Degree in 1973 and his Medical Degree from the University of Messina in 1981. He has been licensed and practicing medicine in New York and New Jersey for over 20 years.
Dr. Marchione is a respected leader in the field of smoking cessation and pulmonary medicine. He has been featured on ABC News and World Report, CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and the NBC Today Show and is the editor of the popular The Food Doctor newsletter.
Dr. Marchione has also served as Principal Investigator in at least a dozen clinical research projects relating to serious ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).