How Including Walnuts In Diabetic Diet Reduces Risk
Posted Jun 01 2013 7:00pm
Bel Marra Health, who offers high-quality, specially formulated vitamins and nutritional supplements, reports a new study that found an inverse relationship between the consumption of walnuts and the risk for diabetes.
As Bel Marra Health reports in its article (http://www.belmarrahealth.com/diabetes-2/this-one-food-could-greatly-reduce-your-risk-for-diabetes/) that diabetes is often mistaken for an incurable and unmanageable disease. However, the majority of type-2 (adult onset) diabetes cases are both preventable and reversible. Following a diet which includes plenty of vegetables, fruits, lean protein, beans, legumes and whole grains, while restricting processed, sugary and trans fat-containing foods vastly reduces risk for type-2 diabetes. In fact, making small changes to a diabetic diet – such as adding in a couple servings of walnuts per week – could reduce risk for diabetes by over 20 percent.
In the United States, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, while about 12 percent of women are currently affected by diabetes. Gestational diabetes develops in 18 percent of all pregnancies, and diabetes increases the risk for miscarriages and birth defects. In general, all fats have long been demonized as contributors to diabetes, but recent research suggests that total fat intake isn’t the problem; instead, it is the type of fat that is consumed. More specifically, trans fats and saturated fats are related to a higher risk for diabetes while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids are associated with a lower risk.
Walnuts are particularly high in polyunsaturated fatty acids; they are also low in sugar and carbohydrates and high in fiber, protein, omega-3s and antioxidants. The nutritional profile of walnuts prompted researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health to study the effects of consuming walnuts on the risk for developing type-2 diabetes. For the investigation, researchers followed 79,893 women aged 35-52 and 58,063 women aged 52-77 for ten years. It is important to note that none of these women had diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the start of the study.
The researchers found an inverse relationship between the consumption of walnuts and the risk for diabetes. What this means is that a higher consumption of walnuts is associated with a lower risk for developing type-2 diabetes. More specifically, the women who consumed two or more servings of walnuts per week as part of a healthy diabetic diet experienced a 15 to 21 percent lower risk for type-2 diabetes. Although the study was conducted on women, the high polyunsaturated fat content and overall nutrient profile of walnuts should make them equally beneficial for the prevention of diabetes in men.
Walnuts should be consumed in moderation — walnuts are high in healthy fats, but even healthy fats can contribute to weight gain when consumed in excess. One serving of walnuts (about seven walnuts) can equal to about 28 grams. In general, including walnuts in a diabetic diet should be limited to one serving per day.
Bel Marra doctors advise that a daily serving of any type of nut (including almonds, pistachios, pecans, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews and macadamias) can help to reduce the risk for type-2 diabetes. For optimal results, consume only unsalted nuts as part of a diabetic diet plan, since sodium increases blood pressure which, in turn, increases the risk for diabetes. Also, nuts should be consumed raw, because heat exposure degrades the nutrients in nuts and ruins the beneficial effects of the healthy fats.
(SOURCE: “New Harvard Study Reports Walnut Consumption to Be Associated with Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes in Women.” New Harvard Study Reports Walnut Consumption to Be Associated with Lower Risk of Type-2 Diabetes in Women. California Walnuts, 27 Feb. 2013. Web.)