NEW JERSEY: Eating almonds could help prevent diabetes and heart disease, according to a study.
Researchers found that incorporating the nuts into our diets may help treat type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90 to 95 per cent of all cases.
As well as combating the condition, linked to obesity and physical inactivity, it could tackle cardiovascular disease, said the report published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Diabetics have a shortage of insulin or a decreased ability to use the hormone that allows glucose to enter cells and be converted to energy.
When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and over time, damage vital organs.
The study found that a diet rich in almonds may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with pre-diabetes, a condition in which people have blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
The study – conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet on 65 adults with pre-diabetes.
The group on the almond-enriched diet showed greater improvements in insulin sensitivity and significant reductions in LDL-cholesterol compared with the nut-free group.
Lead researcher Dr Michelle Wien said: ‘It is promising for those with risk factors for chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease that dietary changes may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development.’
An estimated 55 million people in Europe have been diagnosed with diabetes.
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