Women in a study who reported eating nuts at least five times per week reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by almost 30 percent compared to those who rarely or never ate nuts. The researchers also found that women in the study who frequently ate peanut butter reduced their risk for type 2 diabetes almost 20 percent. “We were not really surprised by our findings,” said Rui Jiang, co-author of the study, and a researcher from the Departments of Nutrition and Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Nuts contain lots of fat, but most fats in nuts are mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which are good for insulin sensitivity and serum cholesterol. Nuts are also rich in antioxidant vitamins, minerals, plant protein and dietary fiber. To avoid increase in caloric intake, people should not simply add nuts on the top of the diet. Instead, people should substitute nuts for less healthy foods such as refined carbohydrates like white bread and red meats.” The findings appeared in the Nov. 27, 2002, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was supported in part by grants from the National Institutes for Health.