People with diabetes who regularly eat nuts may be less likely to develop heart disease than their counterparts who rarely if ever, consume nuts, a US study suggests.
Diabetics who ate at least five 28-gram (1-ounce) servings of nuts a week were 17 percent less likely to develop heart disease than people with diabetes who had no more than one serving of nuts weekly, the study found.
Even just one serving of nuts might still be good for the heart, however. For people with diabetes, adding just one extra serving of nuts a week was associated with a 3 percent lower risk of developing cardiac conditions and 6 percent lower risk of dying from heart problems. The study was published in Circulation Research.
“These data provide novel evidence that supports the recommendation of incorporating nuts into healthy dietary patterns for the prevention of cardiovascular disease complications and premature deaths among individuals with diabetes,” said lead study author Gang Liu, a nutrition researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The study wasn’t a controlled experiment designed to prove whether or how nuts might protect people with diabetes against heart disease. But it’s possible that nut consumption may help improve things like blood sugar control and inflammation due at least in part to nutrients in nuts like unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E and folate and minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium, Liu said.