Walnut Consumption Associated With Reduced Risk of Diabetes
Walnuts have been shown to improve cardiometabolic risk factors such as hypertension and inflammation. A new study looked more closely at the link between walnuts and type-2 diabetes and found that eating walnuts may reduce the risk of developing diabetes by up to 24%.
The study included female nurses between the ages of 35 and 77 who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and the NHS II. Over the course of 10 years, the researchers tracked 137,893 of the participants who did not have diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the beginning of the study.
Food frequency questionnaires were administered every 4 years to assess consumption of walnuts and other nuts.
After adjusting for total body fat and weight, the researchers found that eating walnuts from one to three times a month reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 4%; eating walnuts once a week resulted in a reduction of 13%; and eating walnuts twice a week was correlated with a reduced risk of 24%.
The study was conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. It was published in the April 2013 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
The study also found that nuts only account for approximately 8% of people’s daily intake of antioxidants. This is likely due to the fact that people don’t realize their benefits and are wary of the fat and calories in nuts. However, nuts actually contain healthy polyunsaturated and monosaturated fats rather than artery-clogging saturated fats.
Previous research has found that the health benefits of walnuts include improving heart health and brain health and lowering cholesterol. These benefits are a result of their antioxidant and ant-inflammatory properties. Walnuts are also a great source of protein and are rich in fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, and antioxidants such as Vitamin E.