Walnuts' Health Benefits to Combat the Risk for Diabetes

Dec 03, 2015 05:20 AM EST | By Denise Valerie Uychiat

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A recent study in the United Stated suggests that eating walnuts everyday may help those who are at risk of developing diabetes. This was proven when participants in the study added about 14 walnuts to their daily diet in the course of six months. They had seen improvement s in their blood vessel functions and a decrease in "bad" LDL cholesterol, which can build up in blood vessels and may cause blood clots and heart attacks.

Blood vessel dysfunction and high LDL cholesterol have always been found to be two of the most common risk factors for type 2-diabetes. This condition is usually related to obesity and aging. This usually happens when the body is not capable to make or process enough insulin, the hormone that controls the blood sugar level.

Dr. David L. Katz of the Yale University Prevention Research Center in Derby, Connecticut and the study's author said that adding walnuts to your diet will help you improve your diet quality and health, specifically your cardiometabolic health. She also added that you should not be afraid to eat walnuts because it'll make you gain weight, because it won't.

Even though walnuts are known as a high calorie food, rich in fatty acids and nutrients like folate and vitamin E, which is usually known to contribute to weight gain, it actually does not. Walnuts can make you full very quickly and they have properties that bump out other calories so that they can have room for themselves.

However, since nothing will ever be perfect, , Katz and colleagues reported in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care  that the nuts' wonder don't work with high blood pressure and high blood glucose level, two other risk factors for diabetes.

The researchers randomly assigned 31 men and 81 women at risk for diabetes to follow a diet with reduced calorie with or without nutrition counseling.  Among the groups, 50% of the participants were then randomly assigned to add walnuts to their diet for six months. After a 3 month break, the researchers changed the groups and told the group who abstained from eating walnuts the first three months to add them in their diet.

After taking into account factors such as age, exercise habits, calorie consumption and fatty acid intake, the study found walnuts were linked to improved diet quality regardless of whether people received nutrition counseling.

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