A report from the Nurses Study from Harvard School of Public Health shows that eating nuts or peanut butter may help to prevent diabetes in women. 83,818 apparently healthy women have been followed for 16 years, and 3206 have developed diabetes. Those who ate nuts five times per week were far less likely to develop diabetes. Those who were overweight, smoked, or drank alcohol regularly were at increased risk for diabetes.

You increase risk for diabetes by having a high rise in blood sugar after meals, particularly after eating too much refined carbohydrates found in bakery products, pastas, and sugar-added foods. Nuts do not cause a high rise in blood sugar because they are loaded with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Eating nuts with along other foods may slow the rise in blood sugar caused by those foods as well. However, since a pound of peanuts contains more than 200 grams of fat and 2800 calories, the authors recommend that you substitute reasonable portions of nuts for refined grain products, meat or processed foods; do not just add nuts to your present diet. More on insulin resistance; more on nuts

JAMA, 2002 Nov 27; 288:2554-2560. Rui Jiang, MD; JoAnn E. Manson, MD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD; Simin Liu, MD; Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH; Frank B. Hu, MD, PhD

Checked 9/9/07

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