Eating tree nuts, such as almonds, may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease for adults with type 2 diabetes, a Harvard study has found.
The study shows that people with diabetes who ate at least five servings of nuts per week had a 17 per cent lower risk of total cardiovascular disease incidence compared to those who ate one or less weekly servings. They also had a 20 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 34 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death and a 31 per cent reduced risk of death from all causes.
The study included 16,217 men and women who either had type 2 diabetes at the start of the study or who were diagnosed during the time of the study. A serving in the study was defined as one ounce or 28 grammes of nuts.
The researchers from Harvard University in the US said that compared to those who did not change their nut-eating habits after their diabetes diagnosis to those who did begin to eat more nuts had an 11 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 15 per cent lower risk of coronary heart disease, a 25 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease death and a 27 per cent lower risk of all-cause premature death.
Whether they did or did not eat nuts prior to their diabetes diagnosis, adding even a small amount of nuts offered a beneficial effect.
An additional serving of nuts each week was associated with a 3 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 6% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
The overall findings of the study held true even when gender, body weight and smoking factors were considered, researchers said. Previous research supports the positive role of nuts in heart health, and having diabetes has long been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular issues.