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N-DOC research reports almond consumption to lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Friday, February 10, 2017, 17:30 Hrs  [IST]

National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC) has reported that consumption of almonds will lower the risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.

The findings are published in the journal Metabolic Syndrome and Related Disorders and funded by the Almond Board of California which supports researches across diabetes and glucose control, weight management and heart health.

Dr. Anoop Misra, director, N-DOC, and Diabetes Foundation (India) along with Dr. Seema Gulati, head, nutrition research group, Center for Nutrition & Metabolic Research (C-NET) & N-DOC, chief project officer, Diabetes Foundation (India) were interested in learning if including almonds, already a familiar food in the Indian diet, might help improve glycemic control and improve cardiovascular risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes within an Indian population.

The researchers recruited free-living adults in Delhi, aged 25 to 70, all of whom had type 2 diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels, to participate in the study. During a three-week run-in period, participants ate a standard diet compliant with the dietary guidelines for Asian Indians and appropriate for diabetes. During this period, participants were also asked to walk for 45 minutes at least five days a week to standardize their physical activity and were instructed to maintain the same level of activity for the rest of the study. There were 50 participants who completed the study.

Following the run-in period, participants were instructed to substitute 20% of their total caloric intake with whole, raw almonds (un-blanched almonds with their brown skin intact). Almonds were substituted for fat such as cooking oil and butter and some carbohydrate in this intervention diet which was followed for six months.

Researchers found a significant decrease in a number of critical risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, including: Waist circumference, Waist-to-height ratio, Total cholesterol, Serum triglycerides, LDL cholesterol , HbA1c and C-reactive protein , a marker for inflammation in the body.

A wealth of research investigating almond consumption has shown cardio metabolic benefits like those found in this study. Almonds add protein, fiber, “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, potassium and magnesium to the diet, and are low on the glycemic index. Previous studies have shown the benefits of almonds in improving the quality of the diet without increasing caloric intake, as well.

Commenting on the implications of the findings, Dr. Misra said, “Almonds are traditional snack for Indians. However, for the first time we have been able to prove its scientific all round benefits in patients with diabetes. We now have confidence in prescribing it to all patients as mid-meal healthy snacks.”


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