Wellness Wednesday – Week 14

The Power of Almonds

Almonds are high in calories but contain good fats that help reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.  They also curb hunger to ensure that one does not eat too much.  Almonds make a great snack; in addition, they contain vitamin B, magnesium, prosperous, and copper, which are necessary minerals for good health.

For people who are diabetic or pre-diabetic, almonds are good for blood sugar control.  Here’s why:

The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 23.7 million Americans have diabetes and another 54 million Americans have metabolic syndrome or “pre-diabetes.”

Diabetes and pre-diabetes are conditions in which sugar, or glucose, levels in the blood begin to increase. The American Diabetes Association defines a normal fasting blood sugar as less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl).  Those with a fasting blood glucose level of greater than 126 mg/dl are suspected of having diabetes, and those with a fasting blood sugar between 100 and 126 mg/dl; as pre-diabetic or insulin resistant.

The good news is that some 60 percent of pre-diabetic individuals can stop the onset of diabetes with a healthy diet and increased activity levels.  Diets with controlled amounts of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, are ideal for those with insulin resistance.

Finding wholesome snacks that help to regulate blood sugar levels can often create a challenge for those who are keeping a watchful eye on their diet.  A handful of almonds contains 5 grams of carbohydrates per ounce.  This is one of the reasons why almonds have a low “glycemic index” of 24.5.  Researchers use the glycemic index to rate how quickly the carbohydrates in foods convert into blood sugar.  Foods with a rating of 55 or less are considered low because their carbohydrates trickle slowly into the blood stream.  The slower their rate of entry into the blood stream, the lower their effect upon blood sugar levels and the easier they are for the body to process.  So…. go nuts for Almonds!

According to the USDA:
Just one almond – Calories: 6, Total Fat: 0.61g, Total Carbs: 0.24g, Protein: 0.26g
1 ounce of almonds –  Calories: 164, Total Fat: 14.35g, Total Carbs: 5.65g, Protein: 6.22g
1 cup, whole almonds –  Calories: 826, Total Fat: 72.42g, Total Carbs: 28.23g, Protein: 30.4g
1 cup sliced almonds – Calories: 531, Total Fat: 46.59g, Total Carbs: 18.16g, Protein: 19.56g
Almond butter, no salt 1 tbsp –  Calories: 101, Total Fat: 9.46g, Total Carbs: 3.4g, Protein: 2.41g

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