I’m keen on nuts and eat a handful every day. I do this for the essential oils (mainly omega-6s) but also for their protein and vitamins – plenty of roughage too.
All good for preventing heart disease.
A handful of almonds a day boosts “good” cholesterol levels, research revealed in August, as well as improving plaque removal from our bodies, so de-furring our blood vessels, stopping them “hardening”.
Just 43g of almonds raises good cholesterol levels by a fifth, as well as boosting the removal of its “bad” counterpart, new research reveals.
That increase in good cholesterol and decrease in bad reduces a person’s risk of heart disease.
Study author Prof Penny Kris-Etherton from Pennsylvania State University, said: “If people incorporate almonds into their diet, they should expect multiple benefits, including ones that can improve heart health.
“They’re not a cure-all, but when eaten in moderation – and especially when eaten instead of a food of lower nutritional value – they’re a great addition to an already healthy diet.”
But I never imagined nuts were quite as wonderful as they are: it’s being claimed they could stop you getting Type 2 diabetes.
Yes, a big claim – but researchers have analysed 20 studies from 10 countries conducted between 1970 and 2010, encompassing 39,740 adults, none of whom had Type 2 diabetes at the beginning.
It’s all down to those omega-6s, which are converted to linoleic acid in the body. Linoleic acid may prevent Type 2 diabetes by improving fat metabolism and insulin sensitivity.
Linoleic acid, however, cannot be produced in the body and needs to be taken in via food.
The study found people with the highest levels of linoleic acid are more than a third less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes.
In simple terms eating a handful of nuts a day could prevent it. Nuts, as well as soybean, sunflower and seed oils, contain omega-6.
Dr Jason Wu, from the George Institute in Sydney, said: “Our findings suggest a simple change in diet might protect people from developing Type 2 diabetes which has reached alarming levels around the world.
“Those who had the highest levels of blood omega-6 markers had a much lower chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.”
We keep hearing that omega-3 fats help keep your heart healthy.
Now it’s the turn of omega-6 fats so eat omega-6 rich foods, such as nuts and sunflower oil, to cut your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by more than a third.