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Member Research and Reports

Harvard: Nut Consumption May Help Heart Health for People with Type 2 Diabetes

A daily handful of nuts, especially tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios, may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for adults with type 2 diabetes, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The study found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate at least five one-ounce servings of nuts a week were 17 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who ate one or fewer weekly servings of nuts.

The study was published online February 19, 2019 in Circulation Research.

Researchers analyzed health data from 16,217 women and men in the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study who had type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the studies or were diagnosed during up to 34 years of follow-up.

The study’s results “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,” lead author Dr. Gang Liu, a research associate in the Department of Nutrition, told Reuters in a February 19, 2019 article.

Nuts may help control blood sugar and inflammation due to nutrients they contain, such as unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium, Dr. Liu said.

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