Researchers at the University of Wollongong's Smart Foods Centre today released the results of a study that shows how to harness the nutritional value of walnuts, especially the â€œgoodâ€? oils, to help people manage their diet better in the early stages of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
The research showed that including walnuts in the diet improves the relative amounts of â€œgoodâ€? cholesterol in this group of patients.
The research findings are in the December issue of the international journal Diabetes Care, published in the United States.
That's good news for Australia's 1.2 million people suffering from Diabetes, and the further two million estimated to have pre-Diabetes and be at risk of developing the disease.
National Centre of Excellence for Functional Foods and former Smart Foods Centre Director Professor Linda Tapsell said the research had demonstrated how a diet including 8-10 walnuts a day delivered the right kinds of fats and fatty acids that might help the body address one of the problems associated with early stage Type 2 Diabetes - insulin resistance - which hinders the absorption of glucose from the bloodstream into human cells.
â€œWe understood the relationship between insulin resistance and fatty acids, and when we looked at the composition of walnuts we thought that they could be useful in delivering the right kinds of fatty acids. We knew walnuts contained substantial amounts of these fats, so our challenge was to prove that the theoretical benefits were real,â€? Professor Tapsell said.