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Do you have diabetes? According to the American Heart Association, people who have diabetes are at double the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The high blood pressure levels in the blood of people with diabetes can eventually damage blood vessels as well as the nerves that control them. A blocked coronary artery can slow or stop blood from supplying oxygen and nutrients to your heart. The risk of heart diseases increases with diabetes. But certain changes in your diet and lifestyle can make a difference. Including healthy foods may help, almonds for diabetes are specifically beneficial. But did you know it can help with heart diseases as well?
"If diabetics do not eat a healthy diet, they will be at a higher risk of heart problems. Living a sedentary lifestyle, fluctuating blood pressure and eating unhealthy foods can contribute to the problem," says Priyanka Agarwal, Clinical Nutritionist, Department of Dietetics & Nutrition, Max Super Specialty Hospital, Noida.
"While all nuts are good and healthy, almonds, in particular, are great for diabetics. They are a good source of protein, fibre, copper and other minerals like zinc and selenium. They are also an excellent source of vitamins, calcium and magnesium."
But almonds are also high in calories, which is why diabetics need to be careful of how much of almonds they consume in a day. They need to keep a check on their overall calorie intake.
"Almonds are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which we find we olive oil as well. Not only are they good for your heart, but almonds also help you feel satiated. Hence, keeping your weight in check, which is important for diabetics. But eating salted or flavoured almonds should be avoided to keep your heart health in check," explains Ms Agarwal.
She recommends having raw almonds, which will not only keep your blood sugar levels in check; but reduce your LDL levels as well.
The Nutritionist recommends eating 8-10 almonds for patients suffering from diabetes. They should consume almonds in its raw form, not salted. Soaking the almonds is always a better option, but it should be consumed with the peel. Older people who have denture issues can grind the almonds and eat it regularly.
According to the expert, eating almonds as dietary snacks is the best way to consume almonds. It can be consumed in-between meals. Diabetic patients can also consume these nuts couple of hours after breakfast.
"Not only are almonds a good option for diabetics at risk of heart diseases, but also good for someone trying to lose weight. For children with type-1 diabetes, 5-6 almonds a day is good enough," mentions Ms Agarwal.
Owing to their nutritional value, almonds are great for people with diabetes. But only almonds cannot help you keep your blood sugar levels in control. Ms Agarwal elaborates, "a diabetic patient should eat a balanced diet rich in proteins and fibre, and low in sodium. They should eat small and frequent meals. Exercise is also an important factor that helps keep blood sugar levels in control and heart healthy. People who are overweight or obese should also follow these tips to manage diabetes and alleviate the risk of heart diseases."
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