What can you add to a wide range of foods, from cereals to salads, crispy, filling and tasty — and does wonder for your heart? The answer is nuts. While all sorts of nuts are loaded with essential nutrients, walnuts might be specifically great for safeguarding cardiovascular health and wellness, according to the latest research in the journal Circulation that is in line with an earlier research study done.
What’s the research study?
The Walnuts and Healthy Aging study is a randomized regulated test favoured by a grant from the California Walnut Commission, which tracked healthy, older adults from the 2 communities. To facilitate the research, scientists chose 708 adults aged 63 to 79 living in Loma Linda, California, or Barcelona, Spain, and divided them into 2 teams. One team added nearly a quarter-cup to a half-cup of walnuts to their daily diet regimen for 2 years, while the other team did not eat any walnuts.
After 2 years, the average levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol were decently lower in the walnut group. Therefore, the researchers hypothesize that the cholesterol-lowering advantages from walnuts could be much more noticeable in individuals with raised cholesterol degrees. However, there is no way to verify if this is true from the current data.
“This latest trial validates what earlier research studies have discovered, specifically, that including walnuts in your diet improves your cholesterol levels,” claims Dr. Deirdre Tobias, obesity and a nutritional epidemiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. In addition, the recent trial thrived longer than the earlier walnut studies. However, it still lacks clarity about how walnuts were replaced in the participants’ diets and what foods replaced them. For instance, substituting unhealthy, ultra-processed snacks with walnuts would most likely have a better advantage than just a lateral shift from healthy alternatives to walnuts.
Diminished levels of dangerous blood fats, no added weight
The researchers even assessed the size and the concentration of the LDL particles. Minute, more dense LDL particles are more likely to cause atherosclerosis, the build-up of fatty plaque inside the arteries, which is the characteristic of most heart diseases responsible for cardiac arrest or strokes.
The walnut eaters had a comparatively lesser concentration of these minute particles. They also had reduced levels of intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL), likewise connected to an increase in cardiovascular-related threats. And although a quarter-cup of sliced walnuts has about 190 calories (and a half-cup with nearly about 380 calories), the walnut eaters did not gain any extra pounds.
An earlier study has revealed that individuals who consume nuts daily are less prone to suffer from heart problems. The majority of the studies conducted have focused especially on walnuts.
What’s unique about walnuts?
Though all nuts are rich resources of healthy unsaturated fats, walnuts are particularly rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). This is a forerunner to the omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA discovered in fatty fish, recognized for their heart-protecting powers. Our bodies transform ALA to EPA & DHA, although its efficiency differs from individual to individual.
What’s even more, walnuts are generally consumed raw. As a result, these have better antioxidant capabilities than nuts typically consumed in roasted form. (Antioxidants help protect against or minimize the artery-damaging oxidation that adds to heart problems).
Including walnuts in your daily diet regimen:
It’s worth keeping in mind that the FDA permits for a qualified health claim on some nuts (including walnuts). Foods made with them are allowed to include the following statement: “Eating a diet plan that includes one ounce of nuts daily can make you less vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases.” An ounce of walnuts is nearly about a handful or one-quarter cup.
You can sprinkle walnuts onto your oatmeal or miscellaneous cold or hot cereals; mix them directly into pancakes, muffins, or other quick breads; or toss them with veggies or right into salads. If high cholesterol is bothering you, there are numerous other foods that might assist in lowering your LDL cholesterol as well as improving your heart health.