An American study suggests that diabetics who consume nuts regularly are less likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts who rarely, if ever, consume them.
Diabetics who ate at least five servings of 28 grams (one ounce) of nuts a week were 17% less likely to develop heart disease than diabetics who consumed no more than one serving of nuts per week, according to the report. # 39; study.
Even a single serving of nuts could still be good for the heart. For people with diabetes, adding only one extra serving of nuts per week was associated with a 3% lower risk of heart problems and a 6% risk of death from heart problems.
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"These data provide new evidence that supports the recommendation to incorporate nuts into healthy eating habits for the prevention of cardiovascular complications and premature deaths in diabetics," said the senior author of the report. Study, Gang Liu, Harvard TH Nutrition Researcher Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The study was not a controlled experiment designed to prove if nuts could protect diabetics from heart disease. But it is possible that the consumption of nuts helps to improve things such as glycemic control and inflammation, due at least in part to the nutrients contained in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E and folate, as well as minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, Liu added.
Too much nuts may not necessarily be a good thing, though.
"A handful of nuts is good for the heart, but we still do not know what the ideal serving size is," Liu said by email.
According to Liu, more than half of those surveyed in the current study do not eat nuts.
"If more nuts, better it is, requires more studies in populations with a wide range of nut consumption," Liu said. "Despite the high energy density of nuts, there is no evidence that there is a link between frequent nut consumption and weight gain, which can be explained by the satiating effect of the consumption of nuts. nuts."
As part of this study, researchers used self-reported diet questionnaires of 16,217 men and women before and after the diagnosis of diabetes and asked them about their consumption of peanuts and nuts over several weeks. years. All participants had type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease, associated with aging and obesity.
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During the study, 3,336 people were diagnosed with cardiovascular disease. This included 2,567 cases of heart disease and 789 cerebrovascular accidents. A total of 5,682 people died, including 1,663 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 1,297 deaths from cancer.
Walnuts were still associated with a lower risk of heart disease even after the researchers had explained other risk factors for heart problems such as the duration of diabetes, obesity, eating habits and weight loss. 39, exercise, the use of drugs and the amount of nuts consumed before diagnosis. Diabetes.
Nuts such as nuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios, pecans, macadamias, hazelnuts, and pine nuts were more closely related to a lower risk of heart disease than peanuts, legumes that grow underground.
"One of the reasons that nuts can be more protective is that they tend to be consumed with the skin or outer skin, in which most of the antioxidants reside (at least ordinary nuts, almonds and hazelnuts" ), while peanuts are usually eaten without skin. Said Dr. Emilio Ros of the Barcelona Hospital Clinic.
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"In addition, peanuts are usually roasted and salted – the added salt could neutralize the benefits of the original components of the nuts," said Ros, who was not involved in the study, by e-mail. Ros has received grants, research funds and other funds from the California Walnut Commission and the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council.
An ounce of nuts contains about 24 almonds, 18 cashews, 12 hazelnuts and 14 walnut halves.
"An ideal dose for one and a half (28 to 42 grams) a day," Ros said. "In practical terms, it is better to recommend a handful (of shelled nuts) – the bigger the hand (and the size of the owner), the higher the dose."
The study was published in Circulation Research.