A low carbohydrate diet (LCD), with some staple food being replaced with nuts, has been shown to reduce weight, improve blood glucose, and regulate blood lipid in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). These nuts include tree nuts and ground nuts. Tree nut consumption is associated with improved cardio-vascular and inflammatory parameters. However, the consumption of tree nuts is difficult to promote in patients with diabetes because of their high cost. As the main ground nut, peanuts contain a large number of beneficial nutrients, are widely planted, and are affordable for most patients. However, whether peanuts and tree nuts in combination with LCD have similar benefits in patients with T2DM remains unknown; although almonds are the most consumed and studied tree nut. This study sought to compare the effect of peanuts and almonds, incorporated into a LCD, on cardio-metabolic and inflammatory measures in patients with T2DM. Of the 32 T2DM patients that were recruited, 17 were randomly allocated to the Peanut group (n
= 17) and 15 to the Almond group (n
= 15) in a parallel design. The patients consumed a LCD with part of the starchy staple food being replaced with peanuts (Peanut group) or almonds (Almond group). The follow-up duration was three months. The indicators for glycemic control, other cardio-metabolic, and inflammatory parameters were collected and compared between the two groups. Twenty-five patients completed the study. There were no significant differences in the self-reported dietary compliance between the two groups. Compared with the baseline, the fasting blood glucose (FBG) and postprandial 2-h blood glucose (PPG) decreased in both the Peanut and Almond groups (p
< 0.05). After the intervention, no statistically significant differences were found between the Peanut group and the Almond group with respect to the FBG and PPG levels. A decrease in the glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) level from the baseline in the Almond group was found (p
< 0.05). However, no significant difference was found between the two groups with respect to the HbA1c level at the third month. The peanut and almond consumption did not increase the body mass index (BMI) and had no effect on the blood lipid profile or interleukin-6 (IL-6).In conclusion, incorporated into a LCD, almonds and peanuts have a similar effect on improving fasting and postprandial blood glucose among patients with T2DM. However, more studies are required to fully establish the effect of almond on the improvement of HbA1c.
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