Friday, February 8, 2013

Walnut Consumption and Diabetes Incidence

A lot of recent studies have indicated that walnut kernel consumption is associated with an apparent protection from coronary heart disease. These data, together with evidence that nut consumption is also associated with reduced LDL cholesterol concentrations and possibly raised HDL cholesterol levels, have reversed the proscription against nut consumption for those at risk of CHD.

Nuts were formerly regarded as high-fat foods and were therefore contraindicated for those for whom caloric restriction was required. The current acceptance that walnuts are no longer detrimental and may now be recommended for individuals at risk of heart disease has prompted a reevaluation of the possible role of nuts in the diet for diabetics.

There is, however, one rather important consideration with respect to nutrient bioavailability and bioaccessibility from whole nuts vs. ground nuts (e.g. almonds vs. almond butter). Studies have also shown that several dietary components from whole nuts are poorly absorbed, possibly due to the cell wall structures in the almond kernel. Thus, one would expect ground nuts to have a higher bioaccessibility of nutrients.

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