Blog: Almonds Research Blog
by RisingSun

Almonds for Type II Diabetes

Effect of diets enriched in almonds on insulin action and serum lipids in adults with normal glucose tolerance or type 2 diabetes.
Lovejoy JC, Most MM, Lefevre M, Greenway FL, Rood JC.
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge 70808, USA.
Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Nov;76(5):1000-6

Date:   4/9/2005 8:06:32 PM   ( 17 y ) ... viewed 5247 times


BACKGROUND: Nuts appear to have cardiovascular benefits but their effect in diabetic patients is unclear. OBJECTIVE: The objective was to assess effects of almond-enriched diets on insulin sensitivity and lipids in patients with normoglycemia or type 2 diabetes. DESIGN: Study 1 assessed the effect of almonds on insulin sensitivity in 20 free-living healthy volunteers who received 100 g almonds/d for 4 wk. Study 2 was a randomized crossover study that compared 4 diets in 30 volunteers with type 2 diabetes: 1) high-fat, high-almond (HFA; 37% total fat, 10% from almonds); 2) low-fat, high-almond (LFA; 25% total fat, 10% from almonds); 3) high-fat control (HFC; 37% total fat, 10% from olive or canola oil); and 4) low-fat control (LFC; 25% total fat, 10% from olive or canola oil). After each 4-wk diet, serum lipids and oral glucose tolerance were measured. RESULTS: In study 1, almond consumption did not change insulin sensitivity significantly, although body weight increased and total and LDL cholesterol decreased by 21% and 29%, respectively (P < 0.05). In study 2, total cholesterol was lowest with the HFA diet (4.46 +/- 0.14, 4.52 +/- 0.14, 4.63 +/- 0.14, and 4.63 +/- 0.14 mmol/L with the HFA, HFC, LFA, and LFC diets, respectively; P = 0.0004 for fat level). HDL cholesterol was significantly lower with the almond diets (P = 0.002); however, no significant effect of fat source on LDL:HDL was observed. Glycemia was unaffected. CONCLUSIONS: Almond-enriched diets do not alter insulin sensitivity in healthy adults or glycemia in patients with diabetes. Almonds had beneficial effects on serum lipids in healthy adults and produced changes similar to high monounsaturated fat oils in diabetic patients.

Almonds. Almonds are probably the best all-around nut. Their fat content is less than most, about 60 percent, and the protein concentration is nearly 20 percent. The almond nuts are the fruits of a small tree that grows nearly thirty feet tall and is abundant in many areas of the world, including Asia, the Mediterranean, and North America. Almonds which are of the soft-shell variety possess a sweeter nut than those in hard shells, which may be slightly bitter. The presence of 2?4 percent amygdalin, commonly known as laetrile, has caused almonds to be considered as a cancer-preventing nut.
Most of the fats of the almond are polyunsaturated and are high in linoleic acid, our main essential oil. Almond oil is a very stable oil used in pharmaceutical preparations, to hold scents in fragrant oils, or for massage therapy. Almonds are very high in vitamin E, and contain some B vitamins. Calcium is also found in high amounts, and almonds or homemade almond milk (see recipes in Chapter 14) can be used as a tasty calcium source. Copper, iron, zinc, potassium, and phosphorus are also present in good amounts, as are magnesium and manganese. Sodium is very low. Some selenium is present.

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