Node Smith, ND
A new study confirms eating walnuts to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.1 Nuts and seeds are extremely nutritious, high in healthy fats minerals and vitamins, with a low glycemic index. They are generally considered an important food for diabetics to consume to provide satiety as well as healthy fats and protein, all factors balancing blood sugar.
The study looked at more than 34,000 adults, comparing those who consume walnuts to those who do not. The average amount of walnut consumption for those who eat walnuts was 1.5 tablespoons a day. Doubling walnut consumption – eating 3 tablespoons daily – was seen to be associated with a 47 percent reduction in type 2 diabetes. The actual recommended serving size for walnuts is 1 ounce – or four tablespoons.
Food-based treatment guidelines in the reduction and prevention of diabetes
This is further research to support the use of food-based treatment guidelines in the reduction and prevention of diabetes. Such a strong association between walnut consumption and lower type 2 diabetes justifies advocating recommending them into the diet. Nut consumption has also been shown to help brain function and heart health.
Individuals ingesting walnuts showed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
The study itself looked at National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, which is a very large sampling of the U.S. population. Adults (34,121) ages 18-85 years of age were asked about diet, as well as diabetic status. Laboratory assessments included fasting glucose levels as well as HbA1c. Individuals who consumed walnuts showed a lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not regardless of age, race, education, gender, BMI or amount of physical activity.
In addition, individuals with diabetes are also at risk for other metabolic pathology, including hypertension, cholesterol and triglycerides, heart disease and stroke.
Walnuts are a rich source in polyunsaturated fats, minerals such as selenium, calcium, zinc, and iron. Walnuts also contain vitamin E and some B vitamins.
Node Smith, ND, is a naturopathic physician in Portland, OR and associate editor for NDNR. He has been instrumental in maintaining a firm connection to the philosophy and heritage of naturopathic medicine among the next generation of docs. He helped found the first multi-generational experiential retreat, which brings elders, alumni, and students together for a weekend camp-out where naturopathic medicine and medical philosophy are experienced in nature. Four years ago he helped found the non-profit, Association for Naturopathic ReVitalization (ANR), for which he serves as the board chairman. ANR has a mission to inspire health practitioners to embody the naturopathic principles through experiential education. Node also has a firm belief that the next era of naturopathic medicine will see a resurgence of in-patient facilities which use fasting, earthing, hydrotherapy and homeopathy to bring people back from chronic diseases of modern living; he is involved in numerous conversations and projects to bring about this vision.