The Health Benefits of Almonds for People With Diabetes

almonds

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

While nuts may not have historically been considered a good option for diabetes-friendly diets, almonds are rich in heart-healthy fats and filling fiber that helps keep blood sugar balanced.

High in Good Fats

Almonds have an especially high concentration of monounsaturated fats, a heart-supportive fat which has been associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

They also are rich in the antioxidant vitamin E and the minerals magnesium (which improves the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body) and potassium (which is an important electrolyte involved in nerve transmission and muscle contraction).

Benefits for People With Diabetes

For people with diabetes, incorporating almonds into meal plans appears to decrease after-meal rises in blood sugar and insulin.

Furthermore, eating almonds along with a high-glycemic-index food significantly lowers the glycemic index of the full meal and lessens the rise in blood sugar after eating.

One study found that replacing 20 percent of dietary calories with almonds led to improved markers of insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels in adults with prediabetes.

Tips for Adding Almonds to Your Diet

  • Have a handful of almonds as a snack with a piece of fruit.
  • Try almond butter in place of peanut butter on whole-wheat toast or bread.
  • Top salads with almonds that have been lightly toasted in the oven.
  • Chop almonds and add to rice, pasta, or sautéed vegetables for added crunch.
  • Use finely chopped almonds in place of bread crumbs on top of baked casseroles.
  • Use unsweetened almond milk in diabetes-friendly shakes, sauces, eggnog, and other recipes.
  • Almond flour (also known as almond meal) can be used in many diabetes-friendly recipes.
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