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Rise of non-communicable diseases in India


India, 3rd July 2023: India has a high burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia, a cross-sectional and population-based survey of 33,537 people aged over 20 in urban and 79,506 in rural areas across 31 states and Union Territories has found1. This study also demonstrates that although all metabolic NCDs are more common in urban regions, rural areas have significantly greater prevalence rates than previously reported. However, experts agree that NCDs are largely preventable and controllable by adopting healthier lifestyles, engaging in regular physical activity and improving dietary habits. In the battle against NCDs, the significance of a well-balanced diet cannot be overstated. Even taking small yet mindful steps to improve your diet can prove to be beneficial in the long-term. Incorporating nutritious and natural foods instead of HFSS (High Fat, Salt, and Sugar) foods can be an excellent way to boost your health. Almonds are one such food that holds immense potential for promoting overall health.

Almonds are a natural source of 15 essential nutrients such as healthy fats, dietary fibre, protein, vitamin E, zinc, copper, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, amongst others. Multiple research studies have indicated that incorporating almonds into a well-balanced diet can positively affect cardiovascular health2, cholesterol reduction, blood sugar, and weight management. Additionally, almonds have satiating properties that promote feelings of fullness, which may help to manage hunger between meals and keep cravings for unhealthy food away.

Talking about the recent increase in non-communicable diseases in India, Fitness Expert and Celebrity Master Instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala said, “It is quite alarming that in the past few years there has been a surge in health issues in the country. Every one out of three clients I come across report having type 2 diabetes, heart problems and many are dealing with weight-related issues. While I always stress the importance of exercise, I also recommend that everyone watch what they eat daily. I also advise to opt for foods that arenatural sources of nutrition and stay away from anything that is ultra-processed. A small yet great start could be eating a handful of almonds daily. As for its nutritional profile, almonds are a rich source of protein, fibre and contain healthy fats that are good for the heart. Swapping ultra-processed foods or snacks with a handful of almonds could be a good way to start your journey towards healthy living. Eating almonds regularly have more benefits than one. Not only do these nuts keep you full for a long period, but they also provide energy and support immunity. Hence, I recommend eating a handful of almonds throughout the day to ensure good health.

Ritika Samaddar, Regional Head – Dietetics, Max Healthcare, Delhi, said, “I believe that prevention is key to reducing the burden of non-communicable diseases. This makes it very important to be mindful of our lifestyle habits. Hence, I would urge everyone to make a commitment to prioritize their health and well-being by making healthier choices such as including natural and nutritious foods like almonds in their diets. Almonds are a nutrient-dense food that can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues. They are rich in several nutrients like vitamin E, protein, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus required for the growth and development of the body. In fact, a review by a panel of Indian nutrition and cardiovascular experts, published in the journal Nutrients, suggests that daily inclusion of almonds as part of a healthy diet may help reduce dyslipidemia, one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease among Indians4.”

With a special focus on diabetes, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Sheela Krishnaswamy, said, “According to a report published in 2022 by World Health Organization (WHO), Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) contribute to 66% of all deaths occurring in India, and diabetes is one of them. Hence, it is important to take adequate measures to prevent diabetes. However, for people already suffering from this condition, it is important to include adequate protein, fibre and unrefined carbohydrates, while cutting down on refined carbs, unhealthy fats and total calories. Therefore, a balanced diet comprising of pulses, dals, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains can be beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes. One can also opt for foods with low glycemic index like a handful of almonds as they can help control blood glucose spikes. The nutritional profile of almonds also makes them a great snack since they are a source of 15 essential nutrients such as vitamin E, protein, dietary fiber, calcium etc. Moreover, a recent study found that eating almonds daily reduced insulin resistance, improved pancreatic function, and helped control blood glucose levels4.”

Integrative Nutritionist and Health Coach, Neha Ranglani said, “With lifestyle-related disorders on the rise, it becomes all the 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 well-being. 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 function5.Therefore, I would urge everyone to take better care of their health and well-being by incorporating mindful eating habits as well as a handful of almonds into their diets."

Renowned Indian television & film actress, Nisha Ganesh said, “Being a television actor requires me to stay fit and at the top of my game. As an actor, staying fit is not just about looking good on screen; it's about feeling confident, having stamina, and being able to perform at my best. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, and a healthy lifestyle are the building blocks of my fitness routine. When it comes to nutrition, almonds have become my ultimate ally. They offer a number of benefits that support my fitness goals and overall well-being. In terms of convenience, almonds are a perfect snack for busy shooting schedules. I can easily carry a handful of almonds with me wherever I go, ensuring that I have a nutritious option to keep me fuelled and satisfied throughout the day. They are a delicious and portable snack that helps me resist unhealthy temptations on set.”

Popular South Indian Actress and Celebrity, Pranitha Subhash said, I firmly believe it is crucial to prioritize our health and well-being. I make sure to keep track of my daily calorie intake to ensure that I am eating right. Personally, I find almonds to be a great source of nutrients that I need for my daily life. I try to incorporate almonds into my breakfast and snacking time. The great thing about almonds is that they can be added to a variety of smoothies and cuisines at any time. In fact, I would highly recommend grabbing a handful of almonds to improve your health. They are not only delicious but also offer numerous health benefits across diabetes management, heart health, weight management amongst others.”

Taking small yet steady steps in the right direction can be helpful in combating non-communicable diseases in India. An easy start could, therefore, be eating a handful of almonds daily  to promote overall well-being, naturally!




Almonds from California are a natural, wholesome and quality food. The Almond Board of California promotes almonds through its research-based approach to all aspects of marketing, farming and production on behalf of the more than 7,600 almond growers and processors in California, many of which are multi-generational family operations. Established in 1950 and based in Modesto, California, the Almond Board of California is a non-profit organization that administers a grower-enacted Federal Marketing Order under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture. For more information on the Almond Board of California or almonds, visit



2. Josse ARC, Kendall WC, Augustin LSA, Ellis PR, Jenkins DJA. Almonds and postprandial glycemia - a dose-response study. Metabolism, 2007:56(3):400-404.


3. Kalita S, Khandewal S, Madan J, Pandya H, Sesikeran B, Krishnaswamy K. Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review. Nutrients. 2018; 10:468. Doi:10.3390/nu10040468.2Office

4. Gayathri, R., Abirami, K., Kalpana, N., Manasa, V. S., Sudha, V., Shobana, S., Jeevan, R. G., Kavitha, V., Parkavi, K., Anjana, R. M., Unnikrishnan, R., Gokulakrishnan, K., Beatrice, D. A., Krishnaswamy, K., Pradeepa, R., Mattes, R., Salas-Salvado, J., Willett, W., & Mohan, V. (2023). Effect of almond consumption on insulin sensitivity and serum lipids among Asian Indian adults with overweight and obesity—A randomized controlled trial. Frontiers in Nutrition. DOI: 10.3389/fnut.2022.1055923


5. 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,

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