Diabetes: The 53p snack that can ‘control’ blood sugar levels – study

Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert

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In the UK around 90 percent of all people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. It means that either the insulin your pancreas makes doesn’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. As a result your blood glucose (sugar) levels keep rising.

According to a study published in the Metabolism Clinical and Experimental journal, in 2010, almonds could be the perfect snack for those with type 2 diabetes.

Researchers from Taiwan and the US found the seeds can help control blood sugar levels – as well as promote weight loss and reduce cholesterol levels.

The paper says: “Our results suggested that incorporation of almonds into a healthy diet has beneficial effects on adiposity (obesity), glycemic control (blood sugar control), and the lipid profile, thereby potentially decreasing the risk for cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”

As part of the research, the team studied the effect of almonds in the diet of 20 type 2 diabetes patients.

The study says: “Almond consumption is associated with ameliorations in obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and hyperglycemia.

“The hypothesis of this 12-week randomised crossover clinical trial was that almond consumption would improve glycemic control and decrease the risk for cardiovascular disease in 20 Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (nine male, 11 female; 58 years old; body mass index, 26 kg/m2) with mild hyperlipidemia.

Almonds were added to the control diet to replace 20 percent of total daily calorie intake.

“Addition of approximately 60 grams of almonds per day increased dietary intakes of fibre, magnesium, polyunsaturated fatty acid, monounsaturated fatty acid, and vitamin E.”

It explains the results: “Body fat determined with bioelectrical impedance analysis was significantly lower in patients consuming almonds.

“Furthermore, almond intake decreased total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the ratio of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by six percent, 11.6 percent, and 9.7 percent, respectively.”
The study also found that the diet reduced levels of insulin and blood sugar – both of which are relevant to diabetic patients.

It says: “Compared with subjects in the control diet, those in the almond diet had 4.1 percent, 0.8 percent, and 9.2 percent lower levels of fasting insulin, fasting glucose, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index, respectively.”

A 600 gram bag of almonds can be bought from Asda for £5.30 meaning the recommended 60 gram portion costs 53p.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

If you have concerns about any of these symptoms you are advised to see a doctor.

There are a number of factors that can make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

These include if you:

  • Are over 40 (or 25 for people who are south Asian)
  • Have a close relative with diabetes (such as a parent, brother or sister)
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are of Asian, African-Caribbean or black African origin (even if you were born in the UK).

If you have type 2 diabetes the NHS recommends eating a healthy and varied diet and exercising regularly to help manage your blood sugar level.

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