Tuesday, February 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) – If you have type 2 diabetes and you want to make your heart a benefit, a new study suggests that you should leave your diet a little nutty.
People with type 2 diabetes who ate five or more servings of certain types of nuts weekly dropped their odds for heart disease by approx. 20 percent compared to people who ate less than one serving a month. A serving in the study was defined as an ounce.
Noshing five or more weekly servings of nuts also appear to reduce the risk of premature death from heart disease or some other cause by about one-third for people with type 2 diabetes.
Not all nuts are created the same. Nuts grown on trees appeared to provide more heart health benefits than ground peanuts.
Tree nuts include walnuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, pecan nuts, macadamia, hazelnuts and pine nuts.
"Our findings suggest that emergency consumption, especially tree nuts, is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease [heart disease and stroke] and premature deaths among people with diabetes," says study writer Gang Liu. He is a research assistant at the Ministry of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.
The study was funded by U.S. National Institutes of Health.
What is it about nuts that makes them so heartfelt to people with diabetes?
Liu said nuts apparently help control blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol. Eating nuts also seems to help curb inflammation and improve blood vessel health.
The current study focused on people with type 2 diabetes, and Liu said there is not yet enough research to know if nuts would benefit the people of type 1
But when asked if people without diabetes can see heart benefits from nuts, he said: "Based on our findings and existing evidence, I say that nuts are beneficial to people with and without diabetes."
Heart Specialist Dr. Terrence Sacchi agreed that nuts could be beneficial. "This observation study provides more evidence that some types of nuts may have some effect on diabetes and heart disease," Sacchi said. He is head of cardiology at the New York Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City.