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Walnuts May Improve Diabetic's Heart Health

Eating more walnuts may help diabetics avoid heart disease according to a study published in the October 2009 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

For the study, researchers from the Yale University School of Medicine recruited 24 participants with type-2 diabetes and an average age of 58.

For eight weeks, half of the participants were assigned a diet that included 56 grams (about ½ cup) of walnuts per day. The other half followed a diet that had the same calorie consumption but no walnuts.

The researchers measured blood flow using a technique called flow-mediate dilation at the beginning and end of the study.

By the end of the study, the researchers observed a significant improvement (2.2%) in blood flow among the individuals on the walnut diet, compared to 1.2% in the non-supplemented group.

The walnut diet also moderately reduced blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Larger studies are necessary to verify these findings but a number of previous studies have already linked walnuts to better heart health among diabetics and non-diabetics alike.

Walnuts have been associated with a host of other health benefits due to 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.

This study shows that eating walnuts may be a way for diabetics to keep their heart healthy. With approximately 8% of the US population currently diagnosed with diabetes (a number only expected to rise), at a cost to the US of an estimated $174 billion annually, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways of combating the effects of diabetes.

Previous article Report Finds Use of Certain Supplements Could Reduce Medical Costs By Up to $561 Billion

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