A Nutty Heart-Health Tip
Nuts may improve specific risk factors for heart disease
As previous studies have shown, people who eat nuts as part of a healthy diet may reduce their heart disease risk. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine supports that claim, finding that eating nuts may improve specific risk factors for heart disease by lowering the amount of fats in the blood (lipid levels) such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
Eating nuts favorable for fat levels
Heart disease risk increases significantly when a person develops high cholesterol or high triglyceride levels, so it's important to keep them in a healthy range. As it turns out, eating nuts may help achieve that goal.
The current study evaluated the data from 25 controlled trials, which included a total of 583 men and women who were not taking medication to control lipid levels. In all of the studies, nuts was the only dietary intervention, with participants eating an average of 67 grams (2.4 oz.) per day. Studies lasted from three to eight weeks, showing results such as:
"Nuts are a whole food that have been consumed by humans throughout history," said lead study author Joan Sabate, MD, DrPH, and her colleagues from Loma Linda University, California. "Increasing the consumption of nuts as part of an otherwise prudent diet can be expected to favorably affect blood lipid levels (at least in the short term) and have the potential to lower [coronary heart disease] risk."
The health benefits of nuts
Nuts have a number of properties that make them beneficial for our health.
(Arch Intern Med 2010;170:821-7.)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.