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Consumption of dried fruits and nuts has become a trend of healthy living owing to their health benefits. An interesting fact is that almonds contribute the largest share of the total nut consumption. Diabetes is one such condition where people are looking for answers. Is Almond milk good for diabetes? Definitely a valid question.
Almonds are hero ingredients! They taste good, they neutrally canvas other flavors and you can make them sweet or savory. As almond milk is super versatile, it is quickly gaining popularity especially among those avoiding soy due to allergies or other health concerns. But is almond milk good for diabetes? Let’s see.
Health benefits of Almond milk for diabetes
- Almond milk is low in calories, effective for weight management in diabetic individuals.
- Almond milk is naturally a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin E which cannot be synthesized in the body and needs to be supplied through diet. Vitamin E improves glycemic control and is good for diabetes.
- Almond milk is a rich source of other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, phosphorous and copper.
- Almond milk possesses potential prebiotic & probiotics which can lower cholesterol levels and also help in lowering inflammation due to diabetes. This also shows you can add almonds to heart healthy
- Almond milk contains healthy sources of good bacteria which improves gut integrity.
- Almond milk also acts as a laxative when one is constipated.
- It can also stimulate your immune system.
Reasons for opting Almond milk
The increasing popularity of consuming nondairy milks can be due to many factors
- Due to allergies
- Lactose intolerance
- Adherence to vegan/plant-based diets
- Saturated fat levels
- Hormone content
- Antibiotic use in dairy cattle
Nutrient profile of Almond milk vs Cow’s milk
Almond milk and cow’s milk have their own benefits and pitfalls.
Cow’s milk is rich in protein and fat, whereas Almond milk is low in protein but has good sources of fats. Studies show that the benefits of almond milk are that you are getting your fats from a healthier source unlike your cow’s milk which has saturated fats. Almond milk also contains good sources of vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Potassium, Magnesium and calcium.
Common queries about Almond milk / Almond and diabetes
- Are almonds good for diabetics?
Yes, as you can see almonds are nutri dense nuts with excellent nutrient profile. Snacking on 5-10 soaked nuts per day helps one reduce symptoms of diabetes.
- Can I consume almonds everyday if I am diabetic?
Yes, studies show that daily almond consumption helped improve glycemic control and lipid parameters in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Does almond milk increase blood sugar levels?
No, almond milk has low glycemic index. They are low in carbohydrates and rich in fats and protein, therefore they does not shoot your blood glucose levels rapidly.
- Does almond milk reduce cholesterol levels?
Yes, almond milk is a good source of monounsaturated fats (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) that reduce your bad cholesterol (LDL) and improve your good cholesterol (HDL).
- Is homemade almond milk better or store brought?
The quality of almond milk depends on where you make it. I always prefer homemade almond milk, as commercial almond milk can contain a lot of sugar which can be detrimental for diabetic individuals.
- Does almond milk help with weight loss?
Yes, almond milk has low glycemic index which helps you feel satiated for a long time thereby reducing your cravings for food which is helpful in weight management.
Five diabetes friendly recipes with Almond milk
Almond Milk Latte:
- Place the almond milk, sweetener, and vanilla in a deep microwave-safe measuring glass.
- Microwave on high for 1 minute.
- Mix with an immersion blender until the mixture is frothy.
- Pour into cup.
- Fill the rest of the cup with coffee (or pour the milk into the coffee).
In about three minutes, you’ll have a dairy-free latte ready to enjoy!
Note: Sweetener like stevia, date syrup or Monk fruit can be used.
- 1 cup Buckwheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons stevia or another sweetener
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil (sub olive oil)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1-2 tablespoons water (if you need to thin the consistency)
- 2 eggs
Method: Stir all the ingredients together until the batter is ready and shape your batter into pancakes.
Chia seed bowl with almond milk
- 2 tablespoons of chia seed
- Honey as required
- 3 tablespoons of mixed fruits
- 5-pieces almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon coconut flake
- 2-piece walnuts
- 1/2 teaspoon sunflower seeds
Method: To make this delicious breakfast recipe, add chia seeds in a bowl. Combine the chia seeds with the almond milk and stir well. Allow this to sit for 20-30 minutes or until the chia seeds completely bloom and soften, stirring occasionally.
Just before serving, top with toasted coconut flakes, diced seasonal fruits, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Almond milk smoothie
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 2 bananas (room temperature)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup almond milk
- 8 ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon almond butter (optional)
Method: Place all ingredients in a blender, breaking the bananas into pieces. Blend until smooth.
Serve immediately or store in a covered jar in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Vegan Squash Soup with Almond milk
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Cut off the top 1/4-inch of the garlic cloves and brush the cut cloves with a small amount of olive oil. Wrap in aluminum foil.
- Heat olive oil in a 5-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add butternut squash and broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until squash is soft, about 30 minutes. Remove soup from heat and let cool slightly, about 30 minutes.
- Fill blender halfway with soup. Add about 1/2 cup of almond milk. Cover and hold lid down with a potholder; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend for 1 minute.
- Pour it into a pot. Your hot delicious healthy soup is set to go!
Drawbacks of almond milk
Though we have a lot of benefits packed into these small nuts, one major drawback is that almond milk contains very little protein, usually 1 g per cup, whereas it is 8g per cup in cow’s milk. It is also devoid of most B vitamins and essential fatty acids.
So, you must be aware and make sure you compensate for these vitamins and fatty acids in any other forms to stay away from deficiencies.
Now that you know almonds and almond milk are good for diabetes, take it as prescribed. These nuts are best when you take in right amounts and use the right method. So, by now you should be able to answer the question “Is Almond milk good for diabetes?” I hope you got it right.
Almond milk + cinnamon crunch = Major success for your health!
Have a great day! 😊
Written by Aishwarya Deepika, ENHAPP Wellness Coach & Nutritionist