Sunday, November 08, 2009

Walnuts, The Harvest Is In

Walnuts - a food that's been shown to improve blood flow, lower insulin levels, and nudge lipids in a desirable direction. Crack on.

Effects Of Walnut Consumption On Endothelial Function In Type 2 Diabetics: A Randomized, Controlled, Cross-Over Trial, Diabetes Care, Oct 2009

Intake: 56 grams (about 2 ounces, 28 halves or 14 whole nuts/day) for 8 weeks.
"Endothelial function (measured by flow-mediated dilation) significantly improved."
(The California Walnut Commission co-sponsored this study. What are you going to do.)

A Walnut Diet Improves Endothelial Function In Hypercholesterolemic Subjects, Circulation, 2004

Intake: 40 to 65 grams (about 8 to 13 whole walnuts/day) for 4 weeks.
"[The walnut diet] improved endothelium-dependent vasodilation. ... Significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol."

Long-Term Effects Of Increased Dietary Polyunsaturated Fat From Walnuts On Metabolic Parameters In Type II Diabetes, European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Aug 2009

Intake: 30 grams (about 1 ounce, 14 halves or 7 whole nuts/day) for 1 year.
"Significantly greater reductions in fasting insulin levels."
(When insulin goes up, the ability of the body to burn fat (a.k.a. fat oxidation or beta oxidation) goes down. Usually. The obese tend not to conform to this tenet, and will continue to burn fat at higher levels of insulin. Insulin resistance affects not only glucose metabolism but fat metabolism.)

Including Walnuts In A Low-Fat/Modified-Fat Diet Improves HDL Cholesterol-To-Total Cholesterol Ratios In Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, Diabetes Care, 2004

Intake: 30 grams (about 1 ounce, 14 halves or 7 whole nuts/day) for 6 months.
"The walnut group achieved a significantly greater increase in HDL cholesterol–to–total cholesterol ratio, and HDL. ... A 10% reduction in LDL cholesterol was also achieved in the walnut group."
(HDL is the "good cholesterol." Increases in HDL are a good thing.)
Photo: Bix


Anonymous said...

I replaced meat with walnuts (and almonds) in my lunch years ago. It goods to know of the additional health benefits. Thanks Bix.

Steve Parker, M.D. said...

Nuts are a significant component of the Mediterranean diet. These studies help explain why the Mediterranean diet is linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Thanks for taking the time to post them, with links.


Bix said...

Switching meat off for nuts is a good idea. When I was young, we used to call the inside of nuts "nutmeat."

Bix said...

Steve, now that you mention it, one of those studies was interesting. I'll post it.

Leonard said...

But they taste nasty, I would be open to recipes that make them taste better. I have no sweet tooth but I like hot foods. ;) peace