Markers of cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes are improved by the daily consumption of almonds or sunflower kernels: a feeding study

ISRN Nutr. 2012 Dec 19:2013:626414. doi: 10.5402/2013/626414. eCollection 2013.


Dietary guidelines for the treatment of type 2 diabetes advocate the regular consumption of nuts and seeds. Key lipid abnormalities associated with diabetes include raised LDL-C, VLDL-C, and TAG concentrations and decreased concentrations of HDL-C. The fatty acid profiles of nuts and seeds differ and may potentially influence lipid outcomes in people with diabetes differently. To examine the effects of nut or seed consumption on lipid and lipoprotein markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD), we added almonds (AD) or sunflower kernels (SKD) to a recommended diet in a randomised crossover feeding study. Twenty-two postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes consumed personalised diets, with the addition of 30 g/d of either almonds or sunflower kernels. All food was supplied for two periods of three weeks, separated by a four-week washout. There was a significant reduction in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), triacylglycerol (TAG), and apolipoprotein (apo) A1 and B100 on the SKD compared to the AD. Total (TC) and low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) decreased significantly on both diets from baseline, with no difference between diets. A diet with the addition of either almonds or sunflower kernels has clinically beneficial effects on lipid- and lipoprotein-mediated CVD risk.