Don't have time for breakfast? Snack on almonds to help lower cholesterol, blood glucose

If you're skipping the first meal of the day, make sure to grab a handful of almonds.

Getty Images
LOS ANGELES: A morning snack of almonds may reduce total cholesterol, and improve the body's ability to regulate blood sugar in breakfast-skipping college students, a study claims.

Many college students tend to skip meals, mostly breakfast, while they transition to a more hectic independent lifestyle, said researchers from the University of California Merced in the US.

According to the American Heart Association, daily breakfast consumption may decrease cardiometabolic risk factors including blood sugar and insulin metabolism, they said.


"This study, the first among a college student population, shows that for those who skip breakfast, almonds are a good snack choice," said Rudy Ortiz, who led the study published in the journal Nutrients.

Work-Health Balance: Diabetes Checklist For High-Flying CEOs
1/11
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, here are 10 things to keep in mind when you travel by air.
If you have already been diagnosed with diabetes, here are 10 things to keep in mind when you travel by air.
Carry a medical ID that states that you have diabetes, just in case of an emergency.
Carry a medical ID that states that you have diabetes, just in case of an emergency.
Pack twice as much blood-testing supplies and diabetes medication as you think you may need. This could include insulin, other antidiabetes medication, syringes, glucose meter (with extra batteries), candy/sugar (in case of a low-blood sugar/hypoglycaemia episode). Carry your prescription with you.
Pack twice as much blood-testing supplies and diabetes medication as you think you may need. This could include insulin, other antidiabetes medication, syringes, glucose meter (with extra batteries),..
Read More
Don't keep your insulin in your check-in luggage as it could get affected by changes in temperature and cabin pressure.
Don't keep your insulin in your check-in luggage as it could get affected by changes in temperature and cabin pressure.
Inform the security about medication in your baggage or if you are wearing an insulin pump.
Inform the security about medication in your baggage or if you are wearing an insulin pump.
If you inject insulin, do so only when you see the cabin crew come down the aisle with the serving tray. If you take your insulin too much in advance, the delay in the meal reaching you could lead to a drop in your blood sugar.

Be careful while injecting insulin in the plane as the pressure difference could affect the plunger of the syringe.
If you inject insulin, do so only when you see the cabin crew come down the aisle with the serving tray. If you take your insulin too much in advance, the delay in the meal reaching you could lead to..
Read More
Eat a meal that is low in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
Eat a meal that is low in fat, cholesterol and sugar.
If you are crossing a time zone, remember, travelling west makes you gain time and travelling east makes you lose time. This could affect your meals and how much medication you need.
If you are crossing a time zone, remember, travelling west makes you gain time and travelling east makes you lose time. This could affect your meals and how much medication you need.
Check your blood sugar after you land.
Check your blood sugar after you land.
Keep track of your glucose after you land, since jet lag can make it harder to interpret if your blood sugar is low or high.
Keep track of your glucose after you land, since jet lag can make it harder to interpret if your blood sugar is low or high.

Among predominantly breakfast-skipping college students, including a morning snack - either of almonds or graham crackers - reduced total cholesterol and improved fasting blood sugar levels, the researchers said.

ADVERTISEMENT
However, the benefits were greater with almonds, they said.

Those who snacked on almonds better preserved HDL (good) cholesterol levels and improved measures of the body's ability to regulate blood sugar over the course of the eight-week study.

In the study, 73 healthy, first-year college students (41 women and 32 men) were randomly assigned to one of two snacking groups.

The first group ate 56 grammes of dry roasted almonds, totalling 320 calories, per day, and the other ate 77.5 grammes of graham crackers, totalling 338 calories, per day.

ADVERTISEMENT
Want To Keep Diabetes Away? Eat Walnuts, Apples, Carrots
1/10

While being active, staying hydrated, and checking blood glucose levels can work wonders, it is important to stick to a dietary plan that will ward off diabetes in the long run.

A recent study showed that antioxidant-rich walnuts can nearly halve the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes.

For patients, the ideal diabetic diet plan would be to have 1200-1600 calories per day. It is recommended that diabetics should eat good carbs, fats, and healthy proteins, but in small portions.


Doctors and dieticians share ultimate list of foods you must consume to stay healthy.

Also read: The comprehensive diabetes guide

While being active, staying hydrated, and checking blood glucose levels can work wonders, it is important to stick to a dietary plan that will ward off diabetes in the long run. A recent study s..
Read More
After news of walnuts as you new superfood to keep diabetes away, it's time to look at the other superhero nuts and seeds. They have protective effects for people with diabetes. Flaxseeds/linseeds, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, cashew nuts, chia seeds, etc are the best nuts and seeds for diabetics as they reduce and regulate the insulin levels in the body.
After news of walnuts as you new superfood to keep diabetes away, it's time to look at the other superhero nuts and seeds. They have protective effects for people with diabetes. Flaxseeds/linseeds, ..
Read More
They are a good source of high biological value protein. Eggs have good cholesterol, also called as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is good for heart health. Studies have shown that it improves insulin sensitivity. They give satiety and improve blood sugar levels.
They are a good source of high biological value protein. Eggs have good cholesterol, also called as High Density Lipoprotein (HDL), which is good for heart health. Studies have shown that it improve..
Read More
It has an active compound called curcumin which has shown to improve sugar, promote cardiovascular health, and protect against kidney diseases.
It has an active compound called curcumin which has shown to improve sugar, promote cardiovascular health, and protect against kidney diseases.
Salmon have excellent amount of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which is good for diabetics. The patients need good fat in their diet, and fish reduce inflammation and coronary risks which are common in diabetes.
Salmon have excellent amount of Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) which is good for diabetics. The patients need good fat in their diet, and fish reduce inflammation and coronary risks which are com..
Read More
It improves blood sugars and blood pressure in diabetics. It's a herb with many great health benefits.
It improves blood sugars and blood pressure in diabetics. It's a herb with many great health benefits.
It's a potent antioxidant, and works like a hypoglycaemic drug. One should restrict consumption of cassia cinnamon which is poor variety and has coumarin. It is available in most grocery stores in India. If this variant is consumed in excess, it can have side effects. One should go for the Ceylon variant with less coumarin.
It's a potent antioxidant, and works like a hypoglycaemic drug. One should restrict consumption of cassia cinnamon which is poor variety and has coumarin. It is available in most grocery stores in I..
Read More
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apart from being great for your overall health, the natural-sugar in the fruit has a relatively low impact on the insulin and blood sugar levels in the body.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Apart from being great for your overall health, the natural-sugar in the fruit has a relatively low impact on the insulin and blood sugar levels in the body.
Diabetics can opt for carrots in their daily diet despite its sweet flavour as it can help manage blood glucose levels. Carrot juice may still contain sugar and carbohydrates, it won't spike the blood sugar levels.
Diabetics can opt for carrots in their daily diet despite its sweet flavour as it can help manage blood glucose levels. Carrot juice may still contain sugar and carbohydrates, it won't spike the bloo..
Read More
Whole tomatoes are low in carbohydrates. This fruit has minimal impact on blood sugars and is safe to consume for diabetics. Make sure you consume the fruit, and not the juice. (Inputs from Dr Tejal Lathia, Consultant Endocrinologist, Hiranandani Hospital, Vashi - A Fortis Network Hospital; Dr Rohan Sequeira, Cardiometabolic Physician at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre; Dr Mihir Raut, Consultant Physician & Diabetologist, Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital; Dietician Jasleen Kaur; and nutritionust Avni Kaul)
Whole tomatoes are low in carbohydrates. This fruit has minimal impact on blood sugars and is safe to consume for diabetics. Make sure you consume the fruit, and not the juice. (Inputs from Dr Teja..
Read More

Over the study period, consumption of the assigned snack was supervised by researchers except on weekends and spring break, when compliance was monitored via text.

Study participants tracked their calorie and nutrient intake using a validated 24-hour food frequency questionnaire.
ADVERTISEMENT

Results showed that those in the almond group had better measures of several glucoregulatory and cardiometabolic health indicators, including 13 per cent lower two-hour glucose area under the curve (AUC), and 34 per cent lower insulin resistance index (IRI).

The group also had 82 per cent higher Matsuda index during oral glucose tolerance testing, which represents a gross estimation of insulin sensitivity, researchers said.

This index almost doubled among the almond snackers.

Both the groups saw reductions in HDL cholesterol, but the almond snackers' levels fell by 13.5 per cent compared to a 24.5 in graham cracker snackers.

"For almonds to double the Matsuda index over an 8-week period is profound, especially in a young, healthy population, illustrating the benefit in insulin sensitivity that almonds may provide," said Ortiz.

"And almonds' effect on several of the other glucoregulatory and cardiometabolic health parameters shows their potential as a smart snack, particularly in this group," he said.
Download
The Economic Times Business News App
for the Latest News in Business, Sensex, Stock Market Updates & More.
READ MORE
ADVERTISEMENT

READ MORE:

LOGIN & CLAIM

50 TIMESPOINTS

More from our Partners

Loading next story
Text Size:AAA
Success
This article has been saved

*

+