A recent study published in Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, found that eating a serving of almonds (around 30g's) with meals lowered post prandial blood sugar levels in Type 2 Diabetics.
In the study a 30% reduction in post prandial blood glucose levels was observed after patients consumed about a handful of almonds with their meals. Hemoglobin A1C was the test used to measure long term impacts of almond ingestion with meals, and a moderate reduction in Hemoglobin A1C was seen in 12 weeks.
The study also measured blood glucose changes in healthy non-diabetic adults and found that a larger serving size of between 60-90g's is needed to observe similar post prandial blood glucose reductions.
Possible mechanisms of action were also discussed in the study. The antiglycemic effects of almonds were attributed to flavonoids and quercetin contained in almonds. Flavonoids and quercetin have inhibitve activity on salivary amylase, the enzyme that breaks down starch in the oral cavity. By inhibiting this enzymes activity carbohydrate breakdown is slowed which leads to lower blood sugar levels. The added fat and protein from the almonds also slows gastric emptying allowing more time for digestion and a slower increase in blood sugar levels.
If that is not enough of a reason to add some nuts to your food, there is also "evidence linking
nuts to reduced cardiovascular disease risk in individuals who regularly consume nuts". So try adding some almonds to your meals, and pass on the advice!
Written by Lindsey Jesswein
Almond ingestion at mealtime reduces postprandial glycemia and chronic ingestion reduces hemoglobinA1c in individuals with well-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus
By: Ashley E. Cohen, Carol S. Johnston. Nutrition Program, College of Nursing and Health Innovation, Arizona State University, Mesa AZ. pg1312-1317 (2011).