walnuts prevent metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease

You won’t believe what this simple nut can do for you. Two new studies show it can help with several of the most important things.
As you grow older, you face a number of health challenges. One is the increasingly common problem of metabolic syndrome, and the other is insufficient intake of important nutrients.

Seniors need to keep up their intake of nutrients, but meeting those needs often becomes more challenging as we age. So, a two year study asked whether eating walnuts might help.

Adults between the ages of 63 and 79 either continued on their regular diet—whatever it was—or continued on their regular diet while adding walnuts. On average, they ate 43g a day of walnuts. Eating that amount of nuts increased their energy intake.

But it did more than that. Because they were eating the extra walnuts, they were too full to eat some other things. The alteration in eating led to significantly less carbohydrates, animal protein, saturated fat and salt; it led to significantly more total protein, vegetable protein, polyunsaturated fats and omega-3 and -6 essential fatty acids. These are very healthy changes.

The authors conclude that eating walnuts “induce[s] favourable modifications to the nutrient profile in a way that addresses declining nutrient intake associated with aging” (Br J Nutr 2017;118(3):201-209). That’s one.

The other study looked at metabolic syndrome. We’ve written a lot about metabolic syndrome lately on this blog because there has been a lot of important research lately and become it is becoming one of the most significant health concerns of our time. The cluster of abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar make metabolic syndrome a major risk factor for diabetes and heart disease.
 
Several studies have shown that eating nuts prevents heart disease, diabetes and several other diseases. So, can eating nuts prevent metabolic syndrome. To answer that question, researchers followed 1,265 adults for about 6 years while keeping track of their nut consumption. They found that there was a significant 32% decrease in metabolic syndrome in people who ate more nuts (third tertile). Specifically, people who ate 5 or more servings a week had significantly less metabolic syndrome than people who ate one serving or less. Of all the nuts, walnuts were the most powerful and were the only nut to have a significant impact on metabolic syndrome. Every serving of walnuts you add decreased your risk of metabolic syndrome by another 3% (Nutrients 2017 23 ;9(10)).

So, eating more walnuts may be a simple, practical and delicious way to prevent diabetes and heart disease and to help ensure that you get enough important nutrients as you age.


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For more on healthy eating for diabetes, heart disease and nutrition, see Linda's newest book, The All-New Vegetarian Passport: a comprehensive health book and cookbook all in one.


The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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