Almond Flour and Insulin Sensitivity: What You Need to Know
I love to bake and I'm also very conscientious in choosing quality ingredients, to better predict how food will affect blood sugar. I've been excited to learn how amazing almond flour is a healthier flour option for baking and boosting insulin sensitivity.
Holiday's just naturally get us in the kitchen more, but no matter what time of year you can put together recipes that you and your blood sugar will love. Family and friends will appreciate the taste too.
Like the flour choice, I often swap out some ingredients in recipes with healthier options like the type of oil, sugar, and I try to choose organic real food ingredients when available (See my Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe below).
Let's explore the many health benefits of almond flour and its ability to improve insulin function and why it's a better alternative than the other processed flours
Almond flour is made from ground almonds, the process involves boiling blanched almonds to remove the shell, then grinding and sifting them into a fine flour. Almond flour is a popular alternative to traditional all- purpose and wheat flour, with the advantage of being gluten free.
It's low in carbs, packed with nutrients and has a slightly sweeter taste. Almond flour may also provide more health benefits than traditional wheat flour, such as reducing "bad" LDL cholesterol and insulin resistance.
Almond Flours Amazing Rich Nutrients
One ounce (28 grams) or 1/4 cup contains
Fat: 14.2 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
Protein: 6.1 grams
Carbs: 5.6 grams
Dietary fiber: 3 grams
Vitamin E: 35% of the RDI
Manganese: 31% of the RDI
Magnesium: 19% of the RDI
Copper 16% of the RDI
Phosphorus 13% of the RDI
Magnesium is a nutrient that is commonly deficient in many people and is also abundant in almond flour. It's involved in many processes in your body and may provide several benefits, including improved blood sugar control, improves insulin sensitivity and lowers blood pressure.
Why almond flour is better for your blood sugar
Foods made with refined wheat are high in carbs, but low in fat and fiber, which can cause high spikes in blood sugar levels, followed by rapid drops, which can leave you tired, hungry and craving foods high in sugar and calories later on. Sabotaging your efforts to keep both you and your blood sugar in check.
Conversely, almond flour is low in carbs yet high in healthy fats, protein and fiber. What I often call balanced macros! These properties give it a low glycemic index, meaning it releases sugar slowly into your blood to provide a sustained source of energy.
As mentioned above, almond flour contains a remarkably high amount of magnesium — a mineral that plays hundreds of roles in your body, including controlling blood sugar.
It's estimated that between 25–38% of people with type 2 diabetes have a magnesium deficiency, and correcting it through diet or supplements may significantly reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity.
In fact, almond flour's ability to improve insulin function may also apply to people without type 2 diabetes who have either low magnesium levels or normal magnesium levels but are overweight. (1)
Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe
Print the recipe
Prep 20 minutes Cook 45 minutes 12 servings
1 ½ cup almond flour
½ cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup plant-based protein powder (Try my favorite Pure Food Brand)
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/3 cup organic pumpkin puree
2 small bananas (medium ripeness for a lower glycemic affect)
2 tbsp. melted organic unrefined coconut oil
½ cup organic coconut sugar
2 eggs, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, and sugar. Combine the flour, flax seeds, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, pie spice and cinnamon. Stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if desired.
Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.
It is possible to still bake and enjoy delicious treats while getting nutrients your body needs. You can do all this without compromising your blood sugar or feeling deprived.
Using almond flour is a better alternative to the poor-quality processed flours. The recipes that you decide to bake can have a positive impact on your health and diabetes care.