Study Shows That Eating Walnuts Could Improve Your Cardiac Health

The California Walnut Commission funded a study, The Walnuts, and Aging Study, published in the Circulation journal. The study shows that walnuts can be beneficial to your cardiac health.

How researchers conducted the study

The researchers gathered 708 older adults aged 63-79 years. The participants were from Spain, Barcelona, California, and Loma Linda. The researchers then divided them into two groups. One group ate no walnut, while the second added a quarter to a half cup of walnuts to their meals. Their study took two years.

When researchers examined the participants two years later, they found that the walnuts group had lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in their systems. However, about one-third of the patients were already taking a statin to lower their LDL levels. Therefore, their cholesterol levels were average.

While the researchers believe that walnuts could significantly lower LDL levels in people with high cholesterol, their results currently don’t reflect this.

According to obesity and a nutritional epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard, Dr. Deirdre Tobias, this study proves that taking walnuts could lower your cholesterol. Although this is not the first study to cover the topic, it lasted longer than previous trials.

The researchers noted that it was unclear which foods the walnuts replaced and the provided benefits. Dr. Tobias stated that transitioning from unhealthy and processed foods to walnuts could present more benefits than moving from a healthy diet to walnuts.

How walnuts improved cardiac health 

The researchers also looked into the size and concentration of the LDL molecules as more dense particles are more likely to cause atherosclerosis. The walnut group has lower levels of these particles.

The walnuts group also had a lower density of intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL) which can cause various cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, they didn’t experience weight gain despite a half cup of walnuts containing 380 calories.

Walnuts contain alpha-linolenic acid, a precursor free DHA and EPA are suitable for the heart. Furthermore, walnuts have more antioxidant abilities as people eat them raw. Therefore they reduce oxidation-induced artery damage, which could cause heart problems.

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