Walnuts may lower diabetes risk in women

Eating walnuts might help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes in women, according to a recent Harvard study.

About 130,000 women without diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer were recruited for the study, which found that two or more servings of walnuts per week was associated with a 15-20 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes - even after accounting for participants' weight and other health factors.

Polyunsaturated fats

Walnuts possess unique properties compared to other nuts in that they have high amounts of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) instead of monounsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated fats provide the body with omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which help balance hormones and keep the body from accumulating excess fat. PUFAs may also influence insulin in a positive way, helping to reduce the risk of diabetes.

"The findings here - the kind often seen with powerful pharmaceuticals - are robust, and remarkable," said Dr. David Katz, diabetes and obesity expert. "They strongly indicate the importance of consuming whole foods, such as walnuts, in the fight against diabetes."

Incorporating walnuts into the diet

Andrea Dunn, registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, says that adding walnuts to daily meals is as simple as sprinkling some on a cup of yogurt, snacking on them raw or grinding them up to use as a coating for fish.

"In this study, two or more servings of walnuts per week seemed to make a difference and is so easy to incorporate," said Dunn.

More information on the study can be found online in the Journal of Nutrition.

Source: Perishable News

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