Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found eating 3 tablespoons of walnuts per day was linked to a 47-percent lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. “The strong connection between walnut consumers and lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes is additional justification for including walnuts in the diet,” said coauthor Lenore Arab.
In the study, Arab and her colleagues examined data on more than 36,000 adults ages 18 to 85. Participants were asked if they had received a type 2 diabetes diagnosis or were taking medications for the disease. The individuals also provided their dietary intake information and were evaluated for diabetes through lab tests such as fasting plasma glucose.
Results showed that participants who ate walnuts regularly had a lower risk of the disease compared to those who didn’t eats nuts, regardless of their body mass index, age and exercise amount. The average intake of walnuts was 1.5 tablespoons; however, doubling the intake to 3 tablespoons was tied to a 47-percent reduced prevalence of diabetes. This amount is close to the recommended serving size of 4 tablespoons per day. Findings were published in the journal Diabetes Metabolism Research and Reviews.
Nutrition and Health Benefits of Walnuts
Walnuts have 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat per ounce and are the only nut variety that contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is an omega-3 fatty acid. In addition, they have 4 grams of protein per ounce and 2 grams of fiber per ounce.
Earlier research shows eating a half cup of walnuts per day increases the population of probiotic bacteria in the gut, an effect linked to a lower risk of inflammatory bowel disease and obesity. Other studies show walnuts are associated with a reduced likelihood of cardiovascular disease and cancer, along with enhanced brain health in aging. Some epidemiological investigations also link tree nuts like walnuts to greater longevity.
Managing Type 2 Diabetes
More than 30 million Americans have diabetes; of these, at least 95 percent have type 2 diabetes. While the disease is found more frequently in people over the age of 42, it sometimes afflicts younger adults and children.
Diabetes is highly associated with obesity. People with the disease often have high cholesterol, blood pressure and triglycerides, all of which increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Long-term complications can be disabling and life threatening. Health experts recommend lifestyle measures to manage diabetes that include losing excess weight, getting regular exercise, swapping in plant protein for meat protein and managing stress.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.