Almond for diabetics and obese people

Almonds, a nutritious nut, an excellent source of heart-healthy fats and the antioxidant vitamin E, help regulate cholesterol and strengthen bones. In the kitchen it lends its delicious flavor to both sweet and savory recipes.

A 30-gram serving of almonds provides 170 calories, which are accompanied by a handful of nutrients in more than significant proportions and which explain their beneficial effects on health. Its fats (54%), the main responsible for its high caloric intake, constitute its greatest treasure, since being mostly monounsaturated (65%) and polyunsaturated (26%) they help protect heart health.

Almonds are also a highly recommended nut to maintain the health of the musculoskeletal system, thanks to the proportions of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. A serving of 30 grams – about 15 or 20 almonds – provides 75 mg of calcium, that is, 8% of the daily needs (1.000 mg), a proportion that doubles the contribution of milk for the same weight, although it is true that milk provides many fewer calories and is usually taken in larger quantities.

This difference in favor of almonds partially compensates for the fact that 21% of its calcium is assimilated, compared to 32% in milk. The aforementioned serving of almonds contains, on the other hand, 66 mg of magnesium, which cover 22% of the daily needs (300 mg), and 136 mg of phosphorus, 20% of the requirement.

Although the healthiest way to consume them is whole and fresh, almond milk is a delicious and interesting food for the diet, especially for children. It is only necessary to ensure that the proportion of added sugar is not excessive.

Almond, antioxidant and satiating

The almond is also one of the nuts richest in the antioxidant vitamin E, which the shell helps protect, and provides small doses of several B vitamins.

It is especially indicated for Diabetic and obese people, who can enjoy, for example, desserts made with its flour. Scientific studies show that regular consumption reduces blood sugar concentration. And although it is a caloric food, it does not promote obesity.

It has been shown that even getting 320 calories a day from almonds for six months does not cause weight gain. The reason is that its carbohydrate content –sucrose– is very low (3,7%) and fiber content is high (15,2%), which promotes the feeling of satiety and facilitates intestinal transit.

Part of the nutrients in almonds are lost if they are roasted or subjected to any other heat processing.

Gastronomic delight

The possibilities of the almond, both in baking and in savory cooking, are so enormous that it is not surprising that the almond tree is the most cultivated nut tree in the world.

An appetizer gains a lot with almonds, whether they are natural, to take advantage of all their properties, or toasted or salted. It is also the protagonist of many traditional sweets, such as Santiago cake, nougat or marzipan.

Crispy salads

Raw or toasted, whole or crushed, almonds are an excellent resource in savory dishes. They can be used in vegetable fillings, various stews or in rice and other cereal recipes, such as whole wheat. Crushed, they enrich and give consistency to croquettes of all kinds, such as millet, a cereal with which they make very good crumbs.

They combine with most fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables: watercress, lamb's lettuce, spinach or chicory. In salads they go well with cheeses, especially soft ones.

Sliced, slivered or crushed, they are a good decorative motif widely used in baking or in the preparation of sophisticated dishes.

Almond flour is an excellent thickener to give consistency to all types of broths, sauces and stews.

M. Núñez and C. Navarro (health) and Santi Ávalos (cooking)