Eating a handful of nuts may cut your chances of developing diabetes in half, finds a recent study.
The study representing more than 34,000 American adults suggests that those who consume walnuts may have about half the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to adults who do not eat nuts.
According to the study from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the average intake among walnut consumers was approximately 1.5 tablespoons per day.
Doubling walnut consumption (eating 3 tablespoons) was associated with a 47% lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes.
This amount of walnut intake is close to the recommended serving size of walnuts, which is one ounce or four tablespoons. The researchers did not look at the impact of increasing walnut consumption beyond doubled intake.
“These findings provide more evidence for food-based guidance to help reduce the risk for diabetes,” says Dr. Lenore Arab of the David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles in a press release.
“The strong connection we see in this study between walnut consumers and lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes is an additional justification for including walnuts in the diet. Other research has shown that walnuts may also be beneficial for cognitive function and heart health,” she adds.
The analyses were supported partially by the California Walnut Commission, which according to the study had no role in or influence on the findings, writing, or publication of the study.
According to the National Health Service in England, there is no proof that walnuts prevent diabetes. “As the analysis only looked at people at a single point in time it is hard to determine the direction of any possible link between eating walnuts and diabetes. For example, the study cannot tell us whether eating walnuts prevented diabetes, or whether people with diabetes eat fewer walnuts,” the NHS Choices article points out.
The findings of the UCLA study were published in the journal Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews.