Walnuts are said to be healthy for daily consumption. The nuts are said to be loaded with healthy fats in the form of omega 3 fatty acids as well as fibre. A new study has said that consuming walnuts can be particularly beneficial for those suffering from metabolic syndrome and may potentially bring down the risk of developing diabetes in such people. This is because walnuts may increase the levels of good cholesterol or High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) in the body and may even decrease fasting glucose level. Diabetes is a condition where the levels of blood glucose are persistently elevated. People suffering from metabolic syndrome have an elevate risk of developing Type-2 diabetes, stroke and heart diseases. This study's results may lead to a potential novel dietary method for bringing down risk of diabetes in metabolic syndrome patients.
The results of the study were published in the journal Nutrition Research and Practice. For the study, researchers divided 119 Korean males and females with metabolic syndrome into two separate control groups randomly. While the first group was asked to consume 45 gm of walnuts everyday for 16 weeks, the second group was asked to consume iso-caloric white bread as snacks. Both the groups had a six-week rest period, at the end of the 16 weeks, after which walnuts and white bread were cross-overly distributed to the two groups for a period of 16 weeks again. During the trial, the lipid profile, Hb1Ac levels, levels of adiponectin as well as leptin, apolipoprotein B were measured four times along with anthropometric and bioimpedance data.
Five markers of metabolic syndromes- blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, triglycerides and abdominal fat- were also mapped. It was reported that a little over half (51.2 per cent) of the participants with metabolic syndrome at baseline had reverted to normal status after 16 weeks of consuming walnuts. The levels of HDL, fasting glucose, Hb1Ac and adiponectin were observed to have improved significantly. The researchers concluded that consuming walnuts are snacking alternatives for high-carbohydrate foods may be a good idea for improvement in patients of metabolic syndrome.