Eating almonds may help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes

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Scientists from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences found that eating almonds may help reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.

Insulin is a hormone made by your pancreas that acts like a key to let blood sugar into the cells in your body for use as energy. If you have type 2 diabetes, cells don’t respond normally to insulin; this is called insulin resistance.

Your pancreas makes more insulin to try to get cells to respond. Eventually, your pancreas can’t keep up, and your blood sugar rises, setting the stage for prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.

High blood sugar is damaging to the body and can cause other serious health problems, such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney disease.

Even when people with type 2 diabetes have tight control of blood sugar, they still have a higher risk for heart disease.

Thus, finding treatment approaches that can reduce heart risk factors may be useful for patients beyond blood sugar management.

Although evidence suggests that eating nuts can boost heart health, the effects of almond intake in people with type 2 diabetes are still unclear.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the effect of almonds on the heart and metabolic health of people with type 2 diabetes.

The team reviewed published studies and found almond eating led to a strong reduction in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C, ‘bad’ cholesterol) compared with the control group.

This lowering effect of LDL-C was robust in subgroups with almond intake >50 g/day, and baseline LDL-C level <130 mg/dL.

However, the effect of almonds on total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), blood sugar, insulin, hemoglobin A1c, body mass index (BMI), weight, body fat, and blood pressure is not significant compared with the control group.

Based on the findings, the team suggests that almond intake can decrease LDL-C, but it has no favorable effect on other heart and metabolic outcomes in people with type 2 diabetes.

However, they also suggest that further high-quality studies are needed to confirm the clinical efficacy of almond intake.

The research was published in Phytotherapy Research and conducted by Seyedeh Parisa Moosavian et al.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about high vitamin D levels linked to lower dementia risk in diabetes, and green tea and coffee could help reduce the death risk in diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

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