Eating Nuts Twice a Week Boosts Heart Health

Dietary guidelines change all the time. We’re willing to roll with the punches. We update our eating habits and write blogs, sharing the news with you. But, we much prefer it when news comes out confirming the health benefits of foods we’re already eating for our health! That’s why we were so pleased with new research that has strengthened nuts’ position as a heart-healthy food!

We have written blogs focusing on the health benefits of different types of nuts. We’re sure we’ll write more in the future. Different nuts all offer their own benefits! With healthy fats and protein, we’re fans! Study after study has linked them to better heart health, in part because of their healthy fats. A new one says that eating nuts at least twice a week can lower your risk of dying from a stroke, heart attack or other heart diseases by 17 percent.

This study looked specifically at how frequently people needed to eat nuts to reap the rewards. They studied 5,432 people over the age of 35 for 12 years. No one in the study had a history of heart disease before entering the study. The study found people needed to eat them at least twice a week to get their benefits. Using questionnaires, they tracked how many portions of nuts the participants were eating and watched tracked their health over the years.

Nuts are a good source of unsaturated fat and contain little saturated fat,” explains study author Dr. Noushin Mohammadifard of Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute. “They also have protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber, phytosterols and polyphenols which benefit heart health.”

The researchers suggest eating one ounce of raw, fresh nuts daily. But, those can be hard to get, lightly salted nuts are also a healthy option! The study participants were picking their own nuts; they were just living their lives and reporting their diets. The people mainly ate almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. The study was in Iran, and that may explain why some nuts we might expect to see aren’t on the list.

Another recent study had similar findings. Scientists were looking at data from more than 210,000 people over a 32-year span of time. They found that people who ate nuts five or more times a week had a 14 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who rarely ate nuts later in life. And, during the study, they actually had a 20 percent lower risk. That study included peanuts, even though they are not technically nuts.   

These two studies make us even more fond of a snack we already enjoyed! We weren’t planning on giving up nuts any time soon. But, this makes us even more likely to enjoy them in the future! We’re sure more studies will study nuts in the future, but, until then, enjoy them: your heart will thank you!
September 18, 2020

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