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Walnuts Help to Lower Diabetes Risk

Posted Apr 26 2013 10:08pm

Walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, with previous studies suggesting their consumption helps to improve various cardiometabolic risk factors. Frank Hu, from Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA), and colleagues investigated the association between walnut intake and incident type 2 diabetes in 2 large cohort studies: the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHS II. The researchers prospectively followed 58,063 women, ages 52-77 years in NHS (1998-2008) and 79,893 women, ages 35-52 years in NHS II (1999-2009) without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the study’s respective starts.  Dietary habits were closely monitored, including the frequency at which they subjects consumed nuts – particularly walnuts.  The team revealed that women who consumed walnuts two or three times a week lowered their risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 24%.    Further, the data suggested that the consumption of total nuts also inversely associated with risk of type-2 diabetes.  The study authors conclude that: “Our results suggest that higher walnut consumption is associated with a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.”

Pan A, Sun Q, Manson JE, Willett WC, Hu FB.  “Walnut consumption is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.”  J Nutr. 2013 Apr;143(4):512-8.

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Tip #153 - Fit with Fiber
Soluble fiber is found in foods such as oat/oat bran, dried beans and peas, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits such as oranges and apples, vegetables such as carrots, and psyllium husk. It binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly. Researchers from Hospital Universitari de Sant Joan (Spain) randomly assigned 200 overweight or obese study subjects to receive a daily soluble fiber supplement (comprised of Plantago ovata husk and glucomannan) two or three times a day, or placebo, for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, weight loss was higher in both fiber groups (4.52 and 4.60 kg lost, respectively), compared to the placebo group (0.79 kg weight loss). Additionally, LDL (low-density, “bad”) cholesterol levels decreased by 0.38 and 0.24 mmol/l in the fiber-supplemented groups, and the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL (high-density, “good")-cholesterol, and HDL to LDL, were also improved.

The recommended intake of fiber is 25 grams per day. To meet this, eat at least 5 servings of fruits & vegetables as well as at least 6 servings of grain products per day (at least 3 of which are whole grains). Your waistline, as well as cardiovascular health, will both benefit.

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