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Eating Pecans May Cut Risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes

Benefits seen in markers of cardiometabolic disease, including insulin sensitivity

mixed nuts

FRIDAY, April 6, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Eating pecans every day for four weeks improves certain markers of cardiometabolic disease risk, according to a study published online March 11 in Nutrients.

Diane L. McKay, Ph.D., from Tufts University in Boston, and colleagues compared the effects of a pecan-rich diet with an isocaloric control diet similar in total fat and fiber content, but absent nuts, on biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk. Study participants were healthy middle-aged and older adults who were overweight or obese with central adiposity.

The researchers found that after four weeks on a pecan-rich diet, changes in serum insulin and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance and beta cell function were significantly greater compared to the control diet (P < 0.05). Based on a composite score reflecting changes in clinically relevant markers, pecan consumption also lowered the risk of cardiometabolic disease.

"Compared to the control diet, the pecan intervention had a concurrent and clinically significant effect on several relevant markers of cardiometabolic risk," the authors write.

The study was supported in part by the National Pecan Shellers Association, which provided the pecans for the intervention.

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