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Are Almonds Good for Diabetes? What the Experts Want You to Know
Diabetes

Are Almonds Good for Diabetes? What the Experts Want You to Know

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 29
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5 min

While almonds are certainly healthy for anyone to eat, they can be particularly beneficial for people living with diabetes. Let’s look at how almonds can help you manage your diabetes.

Are almonds good for diabetes
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Almonds are one of the healthiest nuts you can put into your body. Research has proven that almonds can reduce the rise in glucose and insulin levels in the body after eating a meal. This is excellent news for anyone who lives with diabetes.

In this article, we’re going to unpack all of the benefits that almonds can offer to diabetes patients and how they can help manage the condition. There are many surprising health benefits, and we’ll take a look at them today. Read on for the full breakdown.

Are Almonds Good for Diabetes?

The short answer: yes! Almonds can positively affect blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Consuming 2oz of almonds resulted in lower fasting glucose and fasting insulin levels. This volume of almonds consists of around 45 nuts. They can lower blood sugar levels, which is a definite positive for people who have diabetes.

In one study, participants were instructed to reduce their calorie intake by enough to accommodate the addition of almonds while consuming no extra calories. They were essentially eating an almond meal that had no effect on their total calorie intake.

Furthermore, people with prediabetes experience higher levels of insulin sensitivity when they consume almonds.

Do almonds raise blood sugar?

Almonds do not increase your blood sugar levels. Almonds can help reduce and regulate blood sugar levels after meals, helping manage and even prevent diabetes.

However, this only goes for unprocessed almonds – you will not experience the same benefits if you consume almond-based foods like almond butter.

Nutritional Value of Almonds

Almonds are packed full of healthy nutrients. Here’s a quick breakdown of the nutritional value of the humble almond:

Calories/Nutrient (per 100g)Amount 
Calories (kcal)164
Carbohydrates (g)6.1
Protein (g)6
Fat (g)14.2
Fiber (g)3.5
Sugars (g)1.2
Sodium (mg)0.3

Glycemic Index of Almonds

One of the most potent features of almonds is that they have a glycemic index score of almost 0. This is because small amounts of carbohydrates found in almonds and other nuts are primarily made up of fiber, which makes them healthy for lower blood sugar levels.

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Most nuts have low GI scores, between 0 and 20. Cashews have higher GI scores of 22, so you may want to avoid eating too many of them if you are living with diabetes. Opt for healthier nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios to help you maintain normal blood pressure and lower blood sugar levels.

How to Eat Almonds for People With Diabetes

There are plenty of almond products available at every grocery store, from spread almond butter that can be put on toast, almond milk, various flavored almonds, and many more.

When choosing one of these almond products, we strongly suggest looking at the nutritional facts label. Watch out for high sodium and sugar levels, as these can raise your blood sugar levels and increase your risk of heart disease. You’ll want to find products that contain healthy fats and vitamins, especially vitamin E.

Breakfast

For breakfast, a good way to reap the health benefits of almonds is to sprinkle shaved almonds into your oatmeal or cereal. However, try not to eat too many sugary cereals, as they will increase your blood sugar levels. You could also add almond milk to your cereal and coffee or tea.

Lunch or dinner

Almonds can be added to a variety of entrees with ease. They’re great when sprinkled on salads or into a stir fry, and when you add fresh avocados into the mix, you’ll get a boost of healthy fats. Also, stir them into rice or other grain side dishes for a tasty, textural experience.

Dessert

Consuming almonds with dessert is probably the best and tastiest way to get the benefits of this nutritious nut. Try sprinkling it into some low-fat ice cream or having it on a slice of toast with a spread of your choice.

5 Benefits of Almonds for Diabetes

Here are some of the most prominent benefits almonds can have for people with diabetes.

#1 High in magnesium

Almonds are naturally high in magnesium. Several experimental studies have suggested that magnesium from your diet can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Living with high blood sugar can cause you to lose magnesium through your urine. This is why people with diabetes are at a greater risk of a magnesium deficiency.

#2 Beneficial for heart health

Almonds can also reduce your chances of developing heart disease and other cardiovascular risk factors. This is an important benefit for people with diabetes, who are often at a greater risk of developing heart problems.

Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, which is the same kind of fat found in olive oil and is praised for its benefits to the heart. One ounce of almonds contains almost 9g of monounsaturated fat.

#3 Regulate blood sugar

Most nuts, including almonds, are high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats while low in carbs. This makes them highly beneficial to people with diabetes, as they can help regulate glucose levels.

Moreover, because they are so high in magnesium, they can be great for people without diabetes, helping them boost insulin sensitivity. This can help prevent the onset of diabetes and unbalanced glucose levels.

#4 Effective for weight loss

Almonds are high in protein and fiber and low in carbs. Both fiber and protein are known to increase your feeling of satiation after eating, which can help you eat fewer calories daily.

This is a great benefit for anyone trying to lose weight, as they can help you feel more full and thus consume fewer calories. If you are trying to experience a caloric deficit, consider adding almonds to your diet.

#5 Source of antioxidants

Antioxidants are a great way to protect your body against oxidative stress, which can contribute to inflammation and cause damage to the molecules in your cells. These antioxidants are mostly found in the brown outer layer of the almond, so be sure to eat the whole thing for the most benefits!

FAQs

How many almonds should a person with diabetes eat per day?

A little goes a long way when it comes to eating almonds. When considering how many almonds you should eat a day, try to stick to a 1oz serving, which is around 24 almonds.

What is the best time to eat almonds for people with diabetes?

Almonds can be eaten at any time throughout the day, but they are perhaps best consumed as a snack to satiate your hunger during the middle of the day. Keeping a serving of almonds with you can make for a great snack.

Do almonds increase blood sugar?

No. In fact, almonds have been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in patients with diabetes, thanks to their abundance of magnesium and healthy fats.

A Word From Our MD

It’s easy to become frustrated about the food limitations of living with diabetes. However, there are still plenty of foods that you are not only free to enjoy but can actually help improve your condition.

Almonds are one of them, and I always recommend them to diabetes patients. They are rich in nutrients, provide a range of health benefits, normal blood sugar levels, and even help with weight loss.

They are a great snack you should consider adding to your diet if you are living with diabetes – they’re highly versatile and can be incorporated into almost any meal.

Conclusion

Almonds are one of the best foods for people with diabetes to eat. They help regulate LDL cholesterol levels, lower blood sugar, and even help with weight loss by making you feel more full after eating them.

Your diet is an important part of managing and preventing diabetes, so consider eating more nuts like almonds to help regulate blood glucose.

HR_author_photo_Thalia
Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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