Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Almonds Can Prevent Diabetes and Assist Weight Loss Efforts

(Article first published as Include Almonds to Lower Risk of Diabetes, Assist Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

It’s hard to imagine that a natural food that tastes as good as an almond can have such a profound beneficial effect on health. Regular almond consumption is shown to lower the risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease in part due to the high fiber content and concentration of monounsaturated fats.

Further research demonstrates that almonds contribute to accelerated fat metabolism and can reduce the incidence of overweight and obesity by influencing healthy blood glucose control and insulin response. Just a handful of almonds every day can improve your health profile and lower the risk of serious disease.

Almonds Help to Stabilize Blood Sugar Spikes
Post meal blood sugar spikes are known to contribute to the development of metabolic disorders including diabetes and initiate the chain of events that lead to cardiovascular disease. Any intervention that can help to minimize the post meal rush of blood sugar will reduce the risk from these conditions.

The results of a study conducted at the Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health and published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows how almond consumption can blunt the effect of high blood sugar, prevent insulin resistance and lower levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. The study involved 65 prediabetic adults that were broken into two groups to determine the effect of almond consumption. The control group ate a healthy diet low in carbohydrates for 16 weeks and excluded all nuts. The intervention group consumed the same diet but included 20% of total calories from almonds.

Blood analysis showed that the almond group had significantly better insulin levels and improved markers for insulin resistance and beta-cell function. The study authors concluded that the high fiber content and unsaturated fats in almonds “help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Almonds in the Battle Against Obesity
Almonds are high in protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated fats that are all known to influence how our body stores and metabolizes fat for energy. Almonds are rich in complex carbohydrates that require significant energy to be broken down by our body. The International Journal of Obesity published the results of a study that shows almonds are “a feasible option for consideration and have a potential role in the public health implications of obesity.” The study concluded that almonds provide a sensation of satiety and are beneficial for people trying to lose weight.

Almonds are a perfectly balanced food source that can benefit health. This powerful seed has a balanced ratio of proteins, carbohydrates and fats that are in perfect alignment with human macronutrient requirements. Nutritional studies confirm that almonds regulate blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance that lowers the risk from diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, almonds help regulate fat metabolism and can be used as a tool to assist weight loss. Include a handful of almonds every day to reap the many health benefits.

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