news and resources
Nuts and Diabetes 2
Women Who Eat Nuts or Peanut Butter
Regularly Significantly Reduce Their Risk for Type 2 Diabetes
Researchers from the Harvard School of
Public Health have found that women who consume nuts or peanut butter five times per week
or more, significantly lowered their risk for type 2 diabetes compared to those who never
or rarely ate nuts or peanut butter. The reduced risk was independent of known risk
factors for type 2 diabetes, such as body mass index (BMI), family history of diabetes,
physical activity, smoking, alcohol use, and dietary factors.
More than 83,000 women with no history of
diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or Nuts, from the Brigham and Womens Hospital
based, Nurses Health Study, were tracked for 16 years. The study participants were
sent food frequency questionnaires on average of every four years between 1980 and 1996
that included information on their nut and peanut butter consumption. The participants
also provided information via follow-up questionnaires about family history of diabetes,
cigarette smoking, body weight and physical activity. Type 2 diabetes usually occurs after
age 40. People with this type of diabetes do not produce adequate amounts of insulin for
the needs of the body and/or cannot use insulin effectively.
Women in the study who reported eating
nuts at least five times per week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 30
percent compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts. The researchers also found that
women in the study who frequently ate peanut butter reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes
almost 20 percent compared to women in the study who rarely ate peanut butter.
"We were not really surprised by our
findings" said Rui Jiang, co-author of the study, and a researcher from the
Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology. "Nuts contain lots of fat, but most fats
in nuts are mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for insulin sensitivity and
serum cholesterol. Nuts are also rich in antioxidant vitamins, minerals, plant protein and
dietary fiber." "To avoid increase in caloric intake, people should not simply
add nuts on the top of the diet. Instead, people should substitute nuts for less healthy
foods such as refined carbohydrates like white bread and red meats."
Source: Harvard School of Public Health