Eating 3 tablespoons of walnuts a day makes you HALF as likely to develop type 2 diabetes, says new research

Eating just a handful of walnuts each day could make you almost half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes, according to new research. 

The research involving more than 34,000 adults shows that eating any walnuts each day will make you less likely to get the disease, according to Daily Mail .

But, whereas the average intake was 1.5 tablespoons a day, doubling that to three tablespoons was associated with a 47 per cent lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes. 

 Dr Lenore Arab, an author of the study, said: 'The strong connection we see in this study between walnut consumers and lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes is additional justification for including walnuts in the diet.

'Other research has shown that walnuts may also be beneficial for cognitive function and heart health.'

What the researchers did 

Researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles looked at figures, which draws from a large sampling of population.

For the study, 34,121 adults ages 18 to 85 were asked about their dietary intake, as well as if they had been diagnosed with diabetes or if they were taking medications for diabetes.

They were also assessed for diabetes using common laboratory measurements including fasting plasma glucose and haemoglobin A1c.

Those who reported eating walnuts showed a lower risk for type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not consume any nuts regardless of age, gender, race, education, BMI, and amount of physical activity.

People with diabetes often have elevated blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides, which can increase the risk for heart disease and stroke. 

Why are walnuts healthy? 

Previous studies have examined the association between walnut consumption and cardiovascular health as well as diabetes.

The researchers said that the health benefits of walnuts may be down to the fact they are a rich source of recommended polyunsaturated fat (13 grams per ounce), which includes the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (2.5 grams per ounce).

Eating walnuts beneficial for heart and bowel

Eating a handful of walnuts a day may also help to prevent heart disease and bowel cancer, research suggests.

Eating just a third of a cup of walnuts for six weeks significantly reduces the production of excess bile acids, as well as lowering 'bad' cholesterol levels, the study found. 

Previous research has linked such bile acids to bowel cancer, while lower cholesterol levels are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Researchers believe walnuts' high-fibre content encourages the growth of 'good' bacteria in the gut, which benefits people's heart and colon health.

The scientists also found that despite walnuts being relatively high in calories, with around 28 per nut, only 80 percent of them are absorbed, with gut bacteria using up the remaining 20 percent.

Bowel cancer affects around 97,000 new people every year. Heart disease is the leading cause of death, causing one in four fatalities.