Researchers have determined that consumption of almonds may be associated with a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Type 2 diabetes, a chronic disease caused by high blood sugar levels, has become increasingly common in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in every three Americans will have type 2 diabetes by 2050.
However, almonds may be able to stem the tide of the disorder somewhat, according to recent findings. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 16 weeks of eating an almond-enriched diet reduced blood-levels of low-density lipoprotein, or so-called bad cholesterol.
It also significantly lowered insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetic volunteers.
Almonds contain 13 grams of unsaturated fat and nearly four grams of fiber per one ounce, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The studys cohort comprised 65 individuals with pre-diabetes, all of whom were between the ages of 50 and 60.
Those given an almond-rich regimen consumed the same number of calories as the control group, though a fifth of their calories came from almonds.
The studys lead author concluded that changes in dietary intake, like eating more almonds and other heart-healthy foods, may help to improve factors that play a potential role in the disease development.
Approximately 16 million Americans are pre-diabetic, according to the United Health Center for Health Reform and Modernization.