According to new research, a daily handful of cashews, cashews or pistachios in Brazil reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by a third in diabetics.
Cardiovascular disease, or CVD, is the leading cause of illness and death in people with the common metabolic disorder.
One study found that patients who ate one ounce of snack five days a week were 34% and 17% less likely to die of the disease or develop the disease, respectively.
This would equate to about seven nuts or 24 almonds, for example, compared to those who ate less than one serving per month.
Each additional portion of total nuts per week was associated with a risk of CVD death or disease development of three and three percent lower, respectively
Nuts – which also include pine nuts, pecans, macadamias and hazelnuts – were the most protective.
Regular consumption of nuts also reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 20%, such as hardening of the arteries, and by 31% the death of any cause.
Lead author, Dr. Gang Liu, Nutrition Scientist at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, said: "Our results provide new evidence that supports the recommendation to include nuts in a diet. healthy diet to prevent the complications of cardiovascular disease and premature death in diabetics. "
Moreover, even when people had the habit of eating nuts before diagnosing their diabetes, adding more to their diet has proven beneficial, probably at any age and at any stage.
Compared to people who did not change their eating habits, they were 25% and 27% less likely to die of CVD or die prematurely, respectively.
They also reduced their risk of developing cardiovascular or coronary heart disease by 11% and 15%, respectively.
Each additional portion of nuts per week was associated with a risk of death from cardiovascular disease or disease development of six and three percent lower, respectively.
Dr. Liu said, "It never seems too late to improve diet and lifestyle after diagnosis in people with type 2 diabetes."
The improvements remained even after taking into account other factors including gender, smoking habits and BMI (body mass index).
Type 2 diabetes is associated with an increased risk of high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke. It is a widespread public health problem that affects more than 30 million Americans.
Nuts are full of nutrients, including unsaturated fatty acids, phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins such as vitamin E and folate, as well as minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium.
These drugs are said to help prevent various diseases in healthy people, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
But little is known about the benefits, if any, that they can offer to people already diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and at higher risk for heart complications.
Thus, Dr. Liu and his colleagues used self-reported questionnaires on the diet of 16,217 men and women before and after diagnosis, asking them about their consumption of peanuts and nuts over a period of time. several years.
During the follow-up, there were 3,356 cases of CVD – 2,567 cases of coronary heart disease and 789 strokes – and 5,682 deaths, including 1,663 cases of CVD and 1,297 cases of cancer.
All types of nuts have stimulated the heart, the nuts giving the best results.
Peanuts are actually legumes because, unlike nuts, they grow underground. But even small amounts of nuts have had a positive effect.
Researchers say nuts appear to stimulate blood sugar control, blood pressure, fat metabolism, inflammation and blood vessel wall function.
In addition, nuts can offer more benefits as they contain more nutrients than peanuts, they explained.
Dr. Prakash Deedwania, from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, Fresno, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Know Diabetes by Heart, said: "Cardiovascular disease is the main cause of death and one of the leading causes of heart attack. , Stroke and disability in people with type 2 diabetes.
"It is important to understand the link between the two conditions to prevent cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes and help people make informed choices about health."
He said the results are very encouraging, as the simple daily eating habit of eating nuts such as almonds, nuts and pistachios can have such a profound effect on coronary events, cardiac death and total mortality.
Dr. Deedwania added, "They add to the growing evidence that some lifestyle changes, regular exercise and careful diet can have a significant positive impact on the risk of cardiovascular disease and the risk of events. heart disease in diabetic patients. "