Five Reasons To Include Almonds In Indian Low-carb LCHF & Ketogenic Diet.

If you love your heart, go nuts! Almonds, like other tree nuts, form an integral part of the Indian Low-carb LCHF and Ketogenic diet that we follow on dLife.in. Not surprising that around 200+ threads on the community are on almonds based recipes. The following is the quick link to legacy threads (threads posted before the launch of dLife FoodLog module on April 21st, 2019):

All Legacy Content Low-carb LCHF & Keto Recipes or Meals With Almonds

With the launch of the dLife FoodLog module, with integrated recipes posting utility, new recipes with almonds as one of the ingredients were posted and here are the 28 recipes posted in four-part series:

  1. 7 Indian Low Carb High Fat LCHF & Keto Diet Plan Recipes Using Almonds: Part 1
  2. 7 Indian Low Carb High Fat LCHF & Keto Diet Plan Recipes Using Almonds: Part 2
  3. 7 Indian Low Carb High Fat LCHF & Keto Diet Plan Recipes Using Almonds: Part 3
  4. 7 Indian Low Carb High Fat LCHF & Keto Diet Plan Recipes Using Almonds: Part 4

Five reasons why almonds shpuld be a part of LCHF & Keto WOE:

Almonds Are a Storehouse of Antioxidants

Antioxidants act as an antidote to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is damaging to the body and can contribute to inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer, etc.

For example, in a clinical trial on 60 male smokers, it was found that about 84 grams (3 ounces ) of almonds per day reduced oxidative stress biomarkers by 23–34% over a four-week period. In another study, it was found that eating almonds with main meals reduced some markers of oxidative damage.

However,  it is important to note that antioxidants in almonds are primarily concentrated in the brown layer of the skin. So, to take advantage of the antioxidants in almonds, never go for blanched almonds.

Almonds Help in Blood Sugar Control

LCHF and Ketogenic WOE are based on the premise of restricting carbohydrates and increasing good fats. The proximate analysis of almonds, as available from the Nutrition Facts database on dLife.in, is as below for 100 gms almonds:

Proximates for 100 gms almonds

NameUnitValue
Waterg4.41
Energykcal579
EnergykJ2423
Proteing21.15
Total lipid (fat)g49.93
Ashg2.97
Carbohydrate, by differenceg21.55
Fiber, total dietaryg12.5
Sugars, totalg4.35
Sucroseg3.95
Glucose (dextrose)g0.17
Fructoseg0.11
Maltoseg0.04
Galactoseg0.07
Starchg0.72

As we see, 100 gm almonds is about 9 gm net carbs,  21gm proteins, and 49.93 gm fats. As a percentage, the calorie distribution is 6.14% carbs, 14.37% proteins, and 76.3% fats. This is why almonds are so helpful in controlling blood sugar in the case of diabetics on Indian low-carb LCHF & Keto diet.

Almonds Are Rich in Vitamin E and Magnesium

Complete Vitamins and minerals profile of almonds is as follows:

Vitamins / 100 gm almonds

NameUnitValue
Thiaminmg0.205
Riboflavinmg1.138
Niacinmg3.618
Pantothenic acidmg0.471
Vitamin B-6mg0.137
Folate, totalµg44
Folate, foodµg44
Folate, DFEµg44
Choline, totalmg52.1
Betainemg0.5
Carotene, betaµg1
Vitamin A, IUIU2
Lutein + zeaxanthinµg1
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)mg25.63
Tocopherol, betamg0.23
Tocopherol, gammamg0.64
Tocopherol, deltamg0.07

Vitamin E is a family of fat-soluble antioxidants. As noted above, 100 gm almonds contain 25.63 mg Vitamin E. Itis one of the richest sources of Vitamin E, with 1 ounce covering 37% of RDI. higher vitamin E intake with lower rates of heart disease, prostate cancer, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease

Minerals/100 gm almonds

NameUnitValue
Calcium, Camg269
Iron, Femg3.71
Magnesium, Mgmg270
Phosphorus, Pmg481
Potassium, Kmg733
Sodium, Namg1
Zinc, Znmg3.12
Copper, Cumg1.031
Manganese, Mnmg2.179
Selenium, Seµg4.1

The current RDI for magnesium is 310–420 mg. 100 gms almonds have 270 mg magnesium. Interestingly, it has been found that Hypomagnesemia occurs in 25-38% of patients with type 2 diabetes. Fixing magnesium deficiency helps in improving insulin sensitivity and improves beta-cell function. Not just diabetics, magnesium also helps non-diabetics in improving insulin sensitivity.

Besides blood sugar, hypomagnesemia also is linked to hypertension, irrespective of weight. Fixing this deficiency helps in a substantial reduction in blood pressure, both in diabetic and non-diabetic hypertensive patients.

Almonds Lower LDL and Prevent LDL Oxidation

There are many studies that have shown a beneficial effect of almonds on the LIPIDS profile. For example, in a 16-week study on a population size of 65 people with pre-diabetes it was found that a diet consisting of 20% of calories from almonds lowered LDL cholesterol levels by an average of 12.4 mg/dL.

In yet another study, adding 1.5 ounces (42 grams) of almonds per day to diet lowered LDL cholesterol by 5.3 mg/dL while maintaining HDL cholesterol and helping lose abdominal fat.

Besides lowering LDL cholesterol, almonds also reduce oxLDL, a product of LDL oxidation. Itis oxLDL which is responsible for CVD. As already noted, almond skin is rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which prevent oxidation of cholesterol in test-tubes and animal studies. In one human study, it was found that almonds reduced oxLDL by 14%

Almonds Help In Weight Loss

Proximate analysis details, as mentioned earlier, shows that almonds are low in carbs and high in protein and fiber. The combined effect of this is higher satiety and less frequent eating. Hence, calorie intake is lowered without the need to fight hunger pangs.

In a four-week study in 137 participants, it was shown that a daily 1.5-ounce serving of almonds substantially reduced hunger and the desire to eat. Additionally, about 10% to 15% of calories from nuts are not absorbed by the body. Few studies on the impact of almonds on weight loss:

Almonds vs complex carbohydrates in a weight reduction program.

The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial.

Wrapping Up

  1. Almonds are a rich source of antioxidants and hence prevent oxidative stress damage.
  2. Almonds help in blood sugar control. It also helps in reducing insulin resistance both in diabetics and non-diabetics.
  3. Almonds help in blood pressure control in diabetics and non diabetics due to magnesium.
  4. Almonds help in a healthy lipid profile and minimize oxidation of LDL.
  5. Almonds are nutrient-dense. Being low in carbs and high in fiber, protein, and fat helps fight hunger pangs.
  6. Almonds help in weight loss.
This article is reproduced with permission from dLife.in 
Original Source: https://www.dlife.in/news-and-research-articles-on-diabetes-obesity-lipids/five-reasons-to-include-almonds-in-indian-low-carb-lchf-ketogenic-diet/