National Almond Day: why is everyone going nuts for almonds?
Almonds have a rich history dating back over 5,000 years. But just in the last decade, the global market for almonds has grown over 30%, and demand is only increasing. What has everyone going nuts for almonds? According to studies almonds help control glucose levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for people with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes.co.uk, reviewed a study published in the journal Metabolism, which showed that consuming an ounce of almonds straight before eating a high-starch meal brought a 30 per cent reduction in post-meal glucose levels for patients with type 2 diabetes, compared with a 7 per cent reduction for non-diabetics.
In addition, after overnight fasting, patients with type 2 diabetes whose meal contained almonds had a lowering of blood sugar levels after their meal. Another study reported that, “incorporation of almonds into a healthy diet has beneficial effects on adiposity, glycemic control, and the lipid profile, thereby potentially decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus”. So what are the key components of almonds that make them so great for us and how can we incorporate more of them into our diet? We will explore all of this and more in this article.
Almond Nutrition Benefits
One ounce of almonds is a healthy recommended portion of almonds each day. With this handful, you will get many health benefits and could feel more energized and full!
One serving of almonds equals one ounce, about 23 almonds or ¼ cup. It is a calorie-dense food but also nutrient-dense with the majority of its fat being monounsaturated. One ounce provides about 165 calories, 6 grams protein, 14 grams fat (80% monounsaturated, 15% polyunsaturated, and 5% saturated), 6 grams carbohydrate, and 3 grams fiber, according to The Nutrition Source.
Almond Nutrient Quick Facts:
- Vitamin E is a nutrient that's important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain and skin.
- Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body's cells.
- Fiber helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
- Biotin is part of the b vitamin group. Biotin helps your body use enzymes and carry nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that biotin may help manage symptoms of diabetes. It helps regulate blood sugar levels in some people with diabetes.
Substitute with Almond Recipes
There are many ways to integrate healthy doses of almonds into your every day diet. Almond milk, flour, and butters are nutritious new substitutes to our traditional staples. Remember that almond based products will have higher fat and calorie content so we should always be mindful of the serving size.
Almond Flour Pancakes
Have you been craving pancakes but are trying to limit your carbs and stick to a type 2 friendly diet? This recipe will satisfy all those cravings while giving you under 5g of carbs for each pancake. Keep in mind that the batter does cook differently than a traditional flour (so don’t forget to use your non-stick pan and give it a few tries), but this protein and nutrient rich substitute is worth it! We love this recipe from Mila Clarke Buckley.
- 1 cup almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons Truvia or another sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoons avocado oil (sub olive oil)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened oat milk
- 1--2 tablespoons water (if you need to thin the consistency)
- 2 eggs
- Nonstick cooking spray
- In a bowl, put in your almond flour, baking powder and pinch of salt. Mix the dry ingredients.
- Then, add in your vanilla extract, avocado oil, oat milk, eggs and water.
- Stir all of the ingredients together until the batter is incorporated.
- Spray your cooking spray into your cold pan.
- Heat the pan until your oil is bubbling (not smoking) on medium-low heat.
- Shape your batter into pancakes and cook in your skillet for 4-6 minutes, or until the bottoms look golden brown and the sides become firm. Flip and cook the other side until the pancake is cooked all the way through.
- Top with your favorite type 2 friendly pancake toppings (like blueberries) and enjoy!
Whether you want to try your hand at integrating almonds into your healthy diet with a new recipe, or prefer to grab a handful of almonds each day as a healthy snack you can feel good about your nutrition choice. Want more healthy recipes, tips and community support to live your best and healthiest life with type 2 diabetes? Join our growing online community Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together.