Chicago, Nov. 26 (Reuters): A helping of nuts or peanut butter several times a week appears to significantly lower the risk of developing adult-onset diabetes, at least in women, a study said on Tuesday.
Nuts are high in unsaturated fat and other nutrients, which may improve glucose and insulin stability, two factors in warding off type 2, or adult-onset, diabetes that afflicts 16 million Americans and 135 million people worldwide, the study said.
In the 16-year survey begun in 1980 of nearly 84,000 women nurses in 11 US states participating in Harvard University’s Nurses’ Health Study, the researchers found that consuming a one-ounce (28.3 gram) serving of nuts five or more times a week resulted in a 27 per cent lower risk of developing diabetes compared to those in the study who rarely or never ate nuts.
Eating the same helping of nuts between one and four times a week won a 16 per cent lower risk of diabetes, it added.
Those in the study were asked to report their consumption of peanuts or“other nuts.” While peanuts are legumes, the study noted, their fatty acid and nutrient profiles are“very similar” to nuts. The nut consumption reported in the study was a combination of both peanuts and “other” nuts.
Eating five or more ounces (141.8 or more grams) of peanut butter a week reduced diabetes risk by 21 per cent compared to those who never or almost never ate peanut butter, the report added. Nearly 4 per cent of the study participants, or 3,200 women, developed diabetes. There was no suggestion in the report that men would not enjoy the same health benefits from consuming nuts as women.