Study suggests walnuts are a bridge to better health as we age

University of Minnesota School of Public Health (SPH) researchers who reviewed data from CARDIA Studyincluding 20 years of diet history and 30 years of physical and clinical measurements, found that participants who ate walnuts early in life were more likely to be more physically active, follow a higher quality diet and have a better risk of disease. The heart as they age until mid-adulthood.

Their findings, published in Nutrition, metabolism and cardiovascular diseaseNote that a possible explanation for the results may be due to the unique combination of nutrients found in walnuts and their impact on health outcomes.

Walnuts are the only walnuts that are a source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid, which may play a role in heart health, brain health, and healthy aging. Additionally, one serving of walnuts contains a variety of other important nutrients to support overall health including protein, fiber, magnesium, and a variety of antioxidants.

“Nut consumers showed an advantage with regard to diet quality, but nut consumers appeared to have a better heart disease risk profile than the other groups, even after taking into account overall diet quality,” he said. Lynn Stephenwho is associate professor of social production of habitat and author of the study.

The study found:

  • Nut consumers had higher physical activity scores than other nut consumers and no nut consumers.
  • Compared to other nut consumers, eating walnuts was associated with a better heart disease risk profile, including lower body mass index and blood pressure.
  • Eating walnuts was associated with lower weight gain during the study period, and fewer participants who ate walnuts were classified as obese than other nut consumers.
  • Compared with no nut consumers, nut consumers had lower fasting blood glucose concentrations while other nut consumers had higher levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Including walnuts in the diet during youth has been associated with a high-quality diet in mid-adulthood.

“Interestingly, walnut consumers had better cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as lower BMI, weight gain, waist circumference, blood pressure, and triglyceride concentration compared to walnut consumers,” said Su Yun-yi, Ph.D. others”. filter in SPH. “The results of our study support the health claim that walnuts are part of a healthy diet.”

While these results are positive and confirm previous work from the CARDIA study on the health benefits of eating walnuts, randomized controlled clinical trials in other populations and settings need to be conducted to confirm the observations in the current study.

In addition, some findings of heart disease risk factors related to cholesterol and lipids in the current study are inconsistent with Previous randomized controlled trials. This may be related to differences in study design, including study duration or the amount of nut intake. The researchers did not isolate other types of nuts in their database, so the results do not reflect the benefits, or lack of benefits, of other specific nuts.

CARDIA is supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the California Nut Commission.


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