Overweight adults can help protect themselves from diabetes and heart disease by adding walnuts to their diet.
That’s the conclusion of a new Yale University study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition which put a small group of adults on a walnut-enriched diet for two eight-week sessions.
For their research, scientists chose 46 adults between the ages of 30 and 75 who had a body mass index larger than 25 and a waist circumference exceeding 40 inches (102 cm) for men and 35 inches (89 cm) for women.
All exhibited risk factors for metabolic syndrome, a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and none were smokers.
Participants were assigned to either a walnut-enriched ad libitum diet or an ad libitum diet without walnuts.
Those who followed the walnut diet were instructed to eat 56 grams (slightly less than 2 ounces) of shelled, unroasted walnuts a day as a snack or with a meal.
At the end of the experiments, scientists observed improved endothelial function in overweight adults who consumed walnuts. Endothelial cells make up the inner lining of blood vessels and help with blood clotting and the formation of new blood cells, regulate inflammation and control blood pressure.