Almonds Help Lower Blood Sugar Spikes
Great news for diabetics, almond butter helps to reduce spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that occur after a high carbohydrate meal. The result is better blood sugar control for type 2 diabetics.
Having to give up high sugar foods is one of the most difficult things that diabetics have to do. But studies have shown that the more almonds that are eaten as part of a meal, the lower the glycemic index (GI) of that meal will be, and the rise in blood sugar levels induced by that meal will be lower. Reducing after meal spikes in blood sugar helps protect against diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. This probably works by reducing the increase in cholesterol damaging free radicals that come along with high elevations in blood sugar. However, the amount of butter eaten at one time is important.
So for example, eating one ounce of almond butter (the equivalent of about 20 almonds) with white bread results in a GI of the meal of 105.8. This is basically the same as eating white bread alone. But when two ounces of almonds were consumed with the white bread, the GI dropped to 63, and even better, when 3 ounces of almonds were eaten with the bread, the GI was only 45.2 – less than half the GI of the white bread only. So in short, the more almond butter that was consumed, the better the result.
Granted this experiment was a little extreme on both ends. White bread is high in refined carbohydrates and creates a very large spike in blood sugar. At the same time, three ounces of almond butter is about 60 almonds worth, and probably no one is ready to eat that many in one sitting. But the results of the experiment are sound, the more almonds people ate, the less their blood sugar went up and down. Eating almond butter, or just plain almonds when paired with some more mild carbohydrate rich foods will definitely help.
Almonds Provide Double Protection
Not only do almonds help stabilize after meal blood sugar levels, they also help in another important way. The antioxidants prevent free radicals that are produced with high insulin spikes. So almonds have a double dose of protection for diabetics.
So a great tip for type 2 diabetics, when eating foods with higher glycemic indexes, adding almonds to the meal (or just eating a handful afterwards or just before) can help keep your blood sugar and insulin levels under control.