Walnut consumption improves health, reduces risk of heart disease

Share on Pinterest
A new study suggests that people who eat walnuts have a lower risk of heart disease and healthier eating habits. Westend61/Getty Images
  • Nuts, including walnuts, are generally considered part of a healthy diet because of their high protein, fiber and healthy fat content.
  • Researchers from the University of Minnesota found that people who consume walnuts have a better risk profile for cardiovascular disease than those who do not eat walnuts.
  • The research team also reported that in general, walnut eaters ate healthier, gained less weight and enjoyed more exercise compared to non-walnut eaters.

Nuts are generally considered part of a balanced diet due to their high protein, fiber and healthy fat content.

New research from the University of Minnesota spotlights one nut in particular: walnuts.

The findings suggest that those who include this particular nut in their diet enjoy certain health benefits, including less weight gaina higher thanalight dietand a better one risk of cardiovascular disease profile.

This study, funded in part by the California Walnut Commission, was recently published in the journal Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular disease.

While walnuts are generally considered a nut, they are technically the seed of a fruit.

The drupes, also called drupes, grow in walnut trees. As the fruit ripens, the outside turns into a hard shell, in which the edible seed – the walnut – sits inside.

A daily serving of walnuts is equivalent to 1 ounce, 1/4 cup or 12-14 walnut halves and has a nutritional breakdown of:

  • 190 calories
  • 18 grams of fat (including 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat)
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 4 grams of protein
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber
  • 1 gram sugar
  • No sodium or cholesterol

According to Lauren Pelehach Sepe, a clinical nutritionist at the Kellman Wellness Center in New York, NY, walnuts are some of the healthiest nuts you can eat.

“They are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants and several essential minerals,” she explained to Medical news today. “Given their beneficial nutritional profile, walnuts are an important part of a healthy diet as they provide a number of crucial health benefits.”

Sepe said walnuts offer more health benefits compared to other nuts because they contain the highest amount of omega-3 fatty acids — also known as n-3 fatty acids — of all nuts.

“Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally anti-inflammatory. They have also been shown to be lower triglyceride levels and reduce board trainingwhich is a mechanism by which they lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.”

– Lauren Pelehach Sepe, clinical nutritionist

Sepe also cited a 2019 study showing that walnuts provide cardiovascular benefits because of their impact on the intestinal flora.

“A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to reduced levels of inflammation, which reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and improves your lipid profile, reduces your risk of metabolic diseaseas well as many other health benefits,” she added.

For the current study, senior author Lyn Steffen, PhD, MPH, professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, said the main goal was to determine whether walnut consumers had a better diet and a better cardiovascular risk factor. profile over 30 years of follow-up, compared with those who did not eat walnuts.

For this observational study, Dr. Steffen and her team use the findings of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, which began in 1985-1986 with a sample of more than 5,000 white and black men and women, ages 18 to 30. . old and still running.

The research team examined data from 3,023 CARDIA participants, including 352 walnut eaters, 2,494 eaters of other nuts and 177 non-nut eaters.

After examining physical and clinical measurements after 30 years, researchers found that walnut eaters showed a better risk profile for heart disease, including:

Researchers also found that people who consumed walnuts ate a healthier overall diet, gained less weight, tested with a lower fasting blood glucose concentration, and self-reported increased physical activity.

dr. Steffen said the findings weren’t surprising, because walnuts are an excellent source of plant-based n-3 fatty acids, more specifically alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and other antioxidants.

“Other nuts are also nutritious and contain fatty acids and antioxidants, but other types of nuts do not contain ALA, vegetable n-3 fatty acids,” she explains. MNT.

“I’ve been reading about the health benefits of walnuts for years – I wanted to see if walnut consumption would be beneficial for CVD [cardiovascular disease] health profiles in the CARDIA population.”

“I wrote another paper on walnut consumption associated with cardiac phenotypes – this is systolic and diastolic function – using data from the CARDIA study. Although the adults’ heart function parameters were within the normal range, adults consuming walnuts had better values.”

— Lyn Steffen, PhD, MPH, lead author of the study

According to Sepe, there is no exact answer to determining how many walnuts a person should eat per day to enjoy the health benefits described in the study.

Still, she suggested that 1 ounce a day, which is about seven walnuts or 14 walnut halves, may provide benefits.

“They’re easy to add to your daily diet, or you can have a larger serving several times a week,” she explained. “The goal isn’t so much a specific number, but to include these and other nutritious foods in your diet on a daily basis to reap maximum benefits.”

As for the next steps in this research, Sepe said she would like to see more research into all the mechanisms by which walnuts provide health benefits, namely their impact on the gut.

“This could not only lead to a better understanding of how walnuts can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but also other health problems,” she added.

Walnut consumption improves health, reduces risk of heart disease

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top