A recent study has reportedly found that “frequent intake of walnuts was associated with a lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes in women.” An Pan, at al., “Walnut Consumption is Associated with Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Women,” Journal of Nutrition, February 2013. Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health apparently tracked nearly 140,000 nurses (from the Nurses’ Health Study) aged 35 to 77 during a 10-year period to determine how many developed type 2 diabetes—which comprises “90 percent of all diabetes cases”—concluding that compared to those who rarely or never ate them, (i) women who consumed a serving (28g) of walnuts at least twice a week reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 24 percent; (ii) women who consumed a serving of walnuts at least once a week reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 13 percent; and (iii) women who consumed a serving of walnuts one to three times a month reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 4 percent.
Compared with other nuts, the study notes, “walnuts are unique because they are rich in PUFAs [polyunsaturated fats] . . . and because of their fatty acid composition, [they] increase circulating concentrations of PUFAs, particularly linolenic acid and α-linolenic acid, which may favorably influence insulin resistance.”