The Health Benefits of Almonds for People With Diabetes

Tips for adding almonds to your Diabetic diet


 Photo: Alexandra Shytsman

While nuts are generally high in fat and not always considered a good option for low-fat, diabetes-friendly diets, almonds are a special case.

High in Good Fats

Almonds have an especially high concentration of monounsaturated fats or healthy fats which have been associated with 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.

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

The rest of the good news is that one study found that replacing 20% of dietary calories with almonds led to improved markers of insulin sensitivity and lower cholesterol levels.

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.

More on Adding Almonds to Your Diet

  • Use unsweetened almond milk in diabetes-friendly shakes, sauces, eggnog, and other recipes.
  • Almond flour (same thing as almond meal) can be used in many diabetes-friendly recipes.
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Article Sources

  • Kendall Cw, Josse Ar, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJ. Nuts, Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes. British Journal of Nutrition. 2010 104(4): 465-73.
  • Michele Wien, DrPH, David Bleich, MD, Maya Raghuwanshi, MD, Susan Gould-Forgerite, PhD, Jacqueline Gomes, MBA, Lynn Monahan-Couch, MPH and Keiji Oda, MPH. Almond Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Adults with Prediabetes. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2010 29(3): 189-197.