Study Shows Consuming Walnuts Lowers Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

May 11, 2019 | Cardiovascular Disease, Diet, Nutrition

While it’s not unusual for doctors to recommend certain foods be consumed to avoid health problems down the road, some foods revealed unexpected benefits. A study published recently in the Journal of the American Heart Association showed the positive effects of consuming walnuts for those at risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. Conducted by Pennsylvania State University while simultaneously “Funded by the California Walnut Commission” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer, the study had 65 overweight/obese participants who were between 30-65 years old.

In a randomized order, they were to follow a particular diet for about six weeks.  These diets included walnuts, and ones not containing actual nuts in them.  Instead, the latter diets had substitutes which included “The same amount of alpha-linolenic acid” found in real walnut nuts says The Philadelphia Inquirer and an alpha-linolenic acid-like substance called oleic acid.  While the effects on all three diets were positive in terms of lowering the participants’ cholesterol levels, it was the walnuts one that proved to be more effective as it lowered blood pressure levels.  With that said, study coauthor Alyssa Tindall notes that walnuts have a high amount of calories like other nuts meaning they shouldn’t be added to “An unhealthy diet”.

About Overweight and Obesity

 Though both of these conditions are caused by excessive amounts of fat in the human body and lead to similar problems including cardiovascular (heart-related) diseases, they are not the same thing.  Being overweight simply means exceeding the typical weight limit, whereas obesity is an actual medical condition. While both can be treated through dietary changes and more physical activity, it depends on the severity of the condition-in-question.

About Alpha-Linolenic Acid

 Also known ALA (C18H30O2), it is “A plant-based omega-3 that can have a positive effect on blood pressure” according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.  A fatty acid in nature, it’s usually found in nuts seeds and/or vegetable oils.

About Oleic Acid

 An omega-9 fatty acid, this kind occurs inside the fat and oils of animals and vegetables.  Naturally odorless and colorless, though yellowish in commercial form, its chemical formula is C18H34O2.

About Pennsylvania State University

 Commonly known as Penn State, it has several locations throughout Pennsylvania though its main campus is University Park which resides in the State College municipality.  Being a land-grant university, it was established in 1855 under the moniker Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania before being changed to the University of State College and adapting its current name.  In recent years, it’s been on the rise in terms of research with partners in Agriculture, Education, Industry, and the Government regarding subjects that could benefit society.

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