A recent study, published in the 'Journal of the American College of Nutrition', tested an almond-enriched diet on a group of 65 men and women, all of whom had ‘pre-diabetes’, a term commonly used for people with Impaired Glucose Regulation (IGR).
Improved insulin sensitivity?
People with IGR have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. These people are at higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and strokes but can lower or even reverse their risk by losing weight and increasing their physical activity levels.
The group, whose average age was in the mid-50s, was split and results show that those eating almonds had improved insulin sensitivity and significantly lower LDL cholesterol levels, compared with the nut-free group.
The report concluded that eating almonds could also help in the treatment of people with Type 2 diabetes as well as reducing the risk of complications such as developing heart attacks and strokes.
Small study does not prove almonds protect against Type 2
However, Diabetes UK Director of Research Dr Iain Frame responded: “We already know Type 2 diabetes is strongly linked to an unhealthy lifestyle, which means that many cases could be prevented. However, this is a relatively small study measuring only the short term benefits and does not conclusively prove that changing your lifestyle by simply eating more almonds will protect against Type 2 diabetes. “Diabetes UK would still emphasise that eating a healthy, balanced diet, which includes the recommended five fruits and vegetables a day, maintaining a healthy weight and being more physically active, can help to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes."