A new research suggests that consuming an almond-enriched diet may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The study, one of the first of its kind to quantify prevention data, illustrates that consuming almonds may help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease LDL-cholesterol levels in those with prediabetes.
Researchers looked at the effects of consuming an almond-enriched diet on factors linked to the progression of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in adults with prediabetes.
After 16 weeks of consuming either an almond-enriched or regular diet, both in accordance with American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommendations, 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.
A caveat is that although study participants in both groups were instructed to consume the same amount of calories from carbohydrates, there was less self-reported carbohydrate intake among those in the almond group.
"We have made great strides in chronic disease research from evidence of effective treatment to evidence of effective prevention" says Dr. Michelle Wien, Assistant Research Professor in Nutrition at Loma Linda University's School of Public Health and Principal Investigator for this study, which was conducted at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Wien adds, "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. It would be beneficial to conduct tightly controlled metabolic feeding studies and postprandial studies that feature controlled amounts of carbohydrate to confirm the findings of this study, which was performed in a free-living population."
The findings were published in the June 2010 Journal of the American College of Nutrition.