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Mount Carmel College Conducts an Educational Session in Association with Almond Board of California


Bengaluru, 10th April 2023: With an aim to engage with nutrition and dietetics students, Mount Carmel College and the Almond Board of California hosted a session on the benefits of consumption of almonds. According to two studies funded by Almond Board of California, almonds play a vital role in reducing insulin resistance, improved pancreatic function, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and reversing prediabetes, or glucose intolerance. During the session, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, emphasized on the findings of the research studies. The session saw 125+ nutrition and dietetics students participate in the discussion. Post the session, two students also prepared healthy almond based recipes: Almond Apple Chaat and Elaichi Almonds to showcase innovative ways to include this healthy nut to one’s diet.

The session primarily focussed on recently published nutrition research studies. In two new research studies, by lead author Dr. Anoop Misra, Professor and Chairman, Fortis-C-DOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases, and Endocrinology (New Delhi) and Dr. Seema Gulati, head, Nutrition Research Group, National Diabetes, Obesity, and Cholesterol Foundation showed that a simple addition of almonds to the diet may help reduce the burden of diabetes. More specifically, a handful of almonds eaten 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner for three months reversed prediabetes to normal blood sugar levels in nearly one-quarter of the people studied – improvements as potent as taking prescription diabetes medication.1,2 Diabetes researchers described this reversal from prediabetes to normal blood glucose regulation as “the holy grail of medicine.” These two new studies containing almonds—one longer term lasting three months and the other shorter term lasting three days—offer what could be a ground-breaking treatment. In both studies, that treatment was about a handful of almonds (20 g/0.7 oz) 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch and dinner. Control participants avoided all nuts.

“Results from our studies indicate almonds might be a key differentiator in helping regulate blood glucose levels as part of a dietary strategy. These results showcase that the simple addition of a small portion of almonds before each meal can quickly and drastically improve glycemic control in Asian Indians in India with prediabetes in just three days. Eating 20 g of almonds 30 minutes before an oral glucose load showed a significant decrease in blood sugar and hormones. Almonds’ nutritional makeup of fiber, monounsaturated fats, zinc, and magnesium work together to help provide better glycemic control and reduce hunger,” said lead author Dr. Anoop Misra.

Other study was led by Viswanathan Mohan, MD, PhD, DSc, president and chief of diabetes research at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, India, and included collaborators R. M. Anjana, MD, PhD, vice president at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation; Richard Mattes, PhD, MPH, RD, distinguished professor of nutrition and public health at Purdue University; Jordi Salas, MD, PhD, professor of nutrition and bromatology (food science) at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili; and Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard University, among several others. Researchers assessed the effects of 43 g (1.5 ounces) of raw almonds eaten daily for 12 weeks on insulin sensitivity, insulin resistance, and serum lipid markers among Asian Indian adults with overweight and obesity living in Chennai City, India. Dietary 24-h recalls showed a higher significant reduction in carbohydrate and increase in monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) intake in the intervention group compared to the control group.

“Our almond consumers had improvements to both body weight and blood sugar,” said Dr. Mohan. “Obesity is a health problem seen around the world, and we know obesity raises the risk of chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes. We also know this is a complex problem, tightly interwoven with diabetes, and we think we’ve identified a rather simple solution. It turns out, asking people to enjoy almonds instead of other snacks can help them manage weight and reduce the burden of diabetes.”

Speaking about the session, Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition & Wellness Consultant said, “With lifestyle-related disorders on the rise, it becomes even more important to be careful about what we eat on a daily basis. An excellent addition to the daily diet can be incorporating a handful of almonds as they are a great source of some of the nutrients. Almonds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein, which makes them a great option for promoting heart health, weight management, and overall wellbeing. Research shows that almond snacking has the potential to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 30% and improve endothelial function and cardiac autonomic function.3 We observed World Health Day with the 2023 theme “Health for All’ a couple of days ago, and keeping that in mind, I would urge everyone to take better care of their health and wellbeing by incorporating more almonds into their diets. The session was extremely interactive and the students participated enthusiastically to learn the health benefits of almonds."

Research funded by Almond Board of California show that almonds are the perfect healthy snack and should be a part of our daily routine. Almonds provide fiber 3.5 g per 100g and 15 essential nutrients including (per 100g / 30g serving): magnesium (270 / 81 mg), potassium (733 / 220 mg), and vitamin E (25.6 / 7.7 mg), making them a perfect nutrient-rich snack. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of monounsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat. A healthy lifestyle sustained over time will help in reducing the risk of lifestyle diseases, which are major health concerns in India.  Small dietary and lifestyle changes can make a healthy difference to our lives.

1. Gulati, S., Misra, A., Tiwari, R., Sharma, M., Pandey, R. M., Upadhyay, A. D., & Sati, H. C. (In press 2023). Premeal almond load decreases postprandial glycaemia, adiposity and reversed prediabetes to normoglycemia: A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Nutrition ESPEN, 54, 12-22.


2. Gulati, S., Misra, A., Tiwari, R., Sharma, M., Pandey, R. M., Upadhyay, A. D., & Sati, H. C. (2023). Beneficial effects of premeal almond load on glucose profile on oral glucose tolerance and continuous glucose monitoring: randomized crossover trials in Asian Indians with prediabetes. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


3. VitaDikariyanto, Leanne Smith, Lucy Francis, May Robertson, Eslem Kusaslan, Molly O'Callaghan-Latham, Camille Palanche, Maria D'Annibale, Dimitra Christodoulou, Nicolas Basty, Brandon Whitcher, Haris Shuaib, Geoffrey Charles-Edwards, Philip J Chowienczyk, Peter R Ellis, Sarah E Berry, Wendy L Hall, Snacking on whole almonds for 6 weeks improves endothelial function and lowers LDL cholesterol but does not affect liver fat and other cardiometabolic risk factors in healthy adults: the ATTIS study, a randomized controlled trial, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa100,