Walnuts Could Protect You From Heart Disease and Diabetes

By: Bel Marra Health | Healthy Eating | Monday, October 07, 2013 - 10:10 AM

156288095Nuts have always been seen as one of the best sources of minerals and fatty acids on the planet. Nuts provide unsaturated fats, which help to reduce cholesterol levels. They are loaded with digestion-friendly fiber, and they contain a good deal of Vitamin E, a vitamin that helps protect against coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular disorders. Nuts truly are some of nature’s most amazing creations, and a recent study published by the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center points to another potential life-saving health benefit of these tasty morsels.

Can Walnuts Decrease Your Risk of Diabetes?

The Connecticut-based research center conducted a study among 46 adults between the ages of 30 and 75. All of the participants were overweight with BMIs greater than 25;  the men had waist circumferences larger than 40 inches and the women had waists larger than 35 inches. The study group was also at risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a precursor to more serious disorders like cardiovascular disorders and diabetes.

The 46 adults were divided and assigned two different diets: the first group was assigned a diet of their own choosing that included walnuts, while the second group consumed a diet without walnuts. Those that participated in the diet containing walnuts were given no more than 56 grams of walnuts – unroasted and shelled – to consume per day. This group of adults showed a marked improvement in their endothelial function, despite their being overweight or obese. While adding the walnuts to their regular diet didn’t lead to weight loss, it did increase vasodilation in the brachial artery. It also helped to benefit their systolic blood pressure, thereby reducing their risk of cardiovascular disorder.

A Simple Addition to Your Diet

The lead author of the research team, Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, explained that altering one’s diet completely can be challenging, which is why so many people continue with unhealthy diets to this day. However, adding just one food can be fairly easy, making it less of a challenge than completely altering one’s diet.

With the single addition of walnuts, the participants in the study improved their endothelial function and reduced their risk of heart disease and diabetes. The study reveals that making a few small changes to the diet that involves including highly nutritious food could help to improve the health of those suffering from metabolic syndrome and other obesity-related health problems, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disorders.

The purpose of adding nutrient-rich food to the diet is to satisfy the appetite and improve health, thus making it possible to remove the less nutritious food from the diet for those trying to lose weight. With further research, more appetite-satiating foods like walnuts could be found, which could provide remarkable health benefits to dieters and reduce their risk of health problems. Such a small addition to the diet proves that a few minor food modifications can make a huge difference in the health of those trying to diet and lose weight or maintain a long healthy life.

Related Reading: Top 10 reasons to eat walnuts every day

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