Eating nuts is good for the heart

Eating nuts is good for the heart

People who regularly eat nuts, including peanuts, walnuts and tree nuts, lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease compared to people who never or almost never eat nuts.

The study group comprised more than 210,000 people, including women from the Nurses’ Health Study and Nurses’ Health Study II and men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. The study participants were followed up for up to 32 years. In addition to the association between consumption of nuts as a whole with heart disease, researchers in this study also examined the association between specific types of nuts such as peanuts, walnuts and tree nuts with major cardiovascular events. The study included peanuts as they have a similar fatty acid and nutrient profile as other nuts. Peanuts are not nuts; they are actually legumes.

Researchers documented 14,136 cardiovascular disease cases, including 8,390 coronary heart disease cases and 5,910 stroke cases.

A consistent inverse association between total nut consumption and total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease was found. Compared to those who never consumed nuts.

  • Eating walnuts one or more times per week was associated with a 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Eating peanuts two or more times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13% and coronary heart disease by 15%.
  • Eating tree nuts two or more times per week lowered the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15% and coronary heart disease by 23%.

Prior studies suggest health benefits like a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes and lower cholesterol, among other health outcomes. Nuts are nutrient–dense foods. They contain unsaturated fatty acids, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Nuts have no cholesterol; they are rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). They also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nuts therefore help to reduce cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Eating nuts is good for the heart.

The study has been published November 13, 2017 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

(Source: ACC News, November 13, 2017)

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