While FoodFacts.com understands that we are far from reversing the obesity crisis and reducing the number of those who are overweight or obese globally, we try to keep up with information that may make a difference for those affected. There are many health risks associated with being overweight, mainly diabetes and heart disease. Today we found positive research regarding a simple dietary addition that may help those who are overweight avoid these difficulties.
Medical researchers from the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center in Connecticut have found evidence suggestive that adding walnuts to one’s diet can protect against diabetes and heart disease in at-risk individuals.
For the study, a sample of 46 adults aged 30-75 were selected. Participants had a Body Mass Index larger than 25, and a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women. They were also required to be non-smokers, and all exhibited one or more additional risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The group was randomly assigned to two 8-week sequences of either a walnut-enriched diet or a diet without walnuts. Those chosen for the walnut diet were instructed to consume 56g of shelled, unroasted English walnuts per day as a snack or with a meal.
“We know that improving diets tends to be hard, but adding a single food is easy,” explained Dr. David Katz, Director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center and lead author of the research team. “Our theory is that if a highly nutritious, satiating food like walnuts is added to the diet, there are dual benefits: the benefits of that nutrient rich addition and removal of the less nutritious foods.”
The research found that daily intake of 56g of walnuts improves endothelial function in overweight adults. The addition of walnuts to the diet does not lead to weight gain. Further study on the topic is still suggested. “The primary outcome measure was the change in flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) of the brachial artery,” wrote the research group. “Secondary measures included serum lipid panel, fasting glucose and insulin, Homeostasis Model Assessment-Insulin Resistance values, blood pressure, and anthropometric measures. FMD improved significantly from baseline when subjects consumed a walnut-enriched diet as compared with the control diet. Beneficial trends in systolic blood pressure reduction were seen, and maintenance of the baseline anthropometric values was also observed. Other measures were unaltered.”
FoodFacts.com knows that there are so many ways to add walnuts to your daily diet. They can be added to hot cereal for added texture and flavor. They’re great in salads for a little crunch. And they’re a great snack. Walnuts bring many health benefits for everyone. But this new research illustrates additional advantages for those who are overweight. What a simple and interesting way to help prevent serious health difficulties!