New England Journal of Medicine reports PREDIMED 's positive findings on Mediterranean diet, and a new Harvard study reports walnut consumption to be linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women.
New England Journal of Medicine Reports PREDIMED Findings
Published by the New England Journal of Medicine, findings from the landmark Spanish PREDIMED (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterranea) trial, report that a Mediterranean diet including nuts, primarily walnuts, reduced the risk of cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction, stroke or cardiovascular death) by 30% and specifically reduced the risk of stroke by 49% when compared to a reference diet consisting of advice on a low-fat diet (American Heart Association guidelines). As one of the world's largest and longest dietary intervention studies, PREDIMED is a multicenter, randomized, primary prevention trial of cardiovascular disease funded by the Spanish Ministry of Health. Please note, because the study participants were at high cardiovascular risk; whether the results can be generalized to persons at lower risk or to other settings requires further research.
These findings are significant considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. In addition to being the first and third leading causes of death in America, heart disease and stroke result in serious illness and disability, decreased quality of life, and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic loss every year. According to lead researcher Dr. Ramon Estruch, "the results of the PREDIMED trial are of utmost importance because they convincingly demonstrate that a high vegetable fat dietary pattern is beneficial for cardiovascular prevention."
New Harvard study reports walnut consumption to be linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes in women
Recent research published online by the Journal of Nutrition, found an inverse relationship between walnut consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in two large prospective cohorts of U.S. women: the Nurses' Health Study (NHS) and NHS II. The researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health followed 58,063 women (52–77 years) in NHS (1998–2008) and 79,893 women (35–52 years) in NHS II (1999–2009) without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer at baseline. They found two or more servings (1 serving = 28 grams) of walnuts per week as part of a healthy diet, to be associated with a 21% and 15% lower risk of incident type 2 diabetes before and after adjusting for body mass index (BMI) respectively. Please note the study populations primarily consisted of white female nurses, which may limit the generalizability of the findings to other ethnic groups or males.
Diabetes is estimated to affect 12.6 million women in the United States and 366 million people worldwide, and the numbers are expected to rise to approximately 552 million globally by 2030. Diet and lifestyle modifications are key components in fighting this epidemic.