Nuts May Help Prevent Diabetes

A 16-year study of 83,000 woman financed by the government indicates that nuts and peanut butter may prevent adult-onset diabetes. Women in he study who ate a handful of nuts or one tablespoon of peanut butter five times a week or more were at least 20 percent less likely to get diabetes than those who did not. According to Dr. Frank Hu, a researcher at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, these results held up whether the women had healthy lifestyles or were smokers or inactive. The researchers believe the findings probably apply to men.

Past research has shown that nuts contain good kinds of fat and other nutrients that help keep cholesterol down. They also contain fiber and magnesium. Fiber and magnesium help to prevent diabetes because they help to maintain balanced insulin and glucose levels. (When the body can not produce or use insulin properly, diabetes occurs.)

The researchers did not make note of what kinds of nuts or peanut butter the woman ate. Martha Funnell, head of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association, warned that some brands of peanut butter, may contain high amounts of sugar or fatty preservatives. She advises people who eat peanut butter to check the labels.

Enjoy nuts, a delicious and healthy food!