Researchers from Loma Linda University in California, found that people who ate a diet containing a lot of almonds experienced a rise in their insulin sensitivity as well as lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol, both common risk factors in the development of type 2 diabetes .
To investigate, researchers studied 65 adults with an average age of 54, all with prediabetes. They randomly divided the participants into two groups; one group consumed a diet that conformed with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, which consists of 15-20% calories from protein, 10% total energy from saturated fat, 60-70% from carbohydrate and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and less than 300 mg of cholesterol per day for 16 weeks, excluding all nuts.
The other group consumed the same ADA-recommended diet, but with 20% of the calories from almonds.
After 16 weeks, researchers found that the group that consumed an almond-enriched diet showed significantly improved LDL-cholesterol levels and measures of insulin sensitivity, risk factors for heart disease and type 2 diabetes, compared with the other group.
Researchers say that the results are promising, especially for those with risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, because their findings show that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in disease development.
Want to learn more about the health benefits of almonds? Click here to read Leslie Beck's Featured Food article on these nutrient dense nuts.
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