Nuts and seeds can sometimes be an acquired taste. Some people don’t understand exactly what types of nuts should be included in a healthy diet as all nuts aren’t created equal. Some nuts have more of a particular component or element within them than others. A recent study found that those who regularly include nuts in their diets – specifically walnuts, tree nuts and peanuts – were at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or coronary heart disease as opposed to those who don’t typically include any nuts in their diets.
A major reason these types of nuts are so beneficial is due to their healthy fat content. For a long time it was thought that fat was the enemy, but after a lot of research and additional studies, it has become clear that there are many types of positive and healthy fats that should be incorporated into a balanced diet. These particular nuts are so helpful because they have a specific type of fatty acid within them that helps to coat and aid the heart – and helps mitigate the risk of heart disease.
The Consumption Correlation
The study found that there was an inverse correlation between nut consumption and the presence of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Participants who consumed walnuts on a regular basis had an almost 19% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease. Similar numbers can be seen of both tree nuts and peanuts. “Our findings support recommendations of increasing the intake of a variety of nuts, as part of healthy dietary patterns, to reduce the risk of chronic disease in the general populations,” says lead author of the study Marta Guasch-Ferre.
Another researcher, Emilio Ros, added commentary regarding the necessary presence of nuts and the need for even more research: “Ideally, further investigations should test the effects of long-term consumption of nuts supplemented into the usual diet on hard cardio-metabolic events. In the meantime, raw nuts, if possible unpeeled and otherwise unprocessed, may be considered as natural health capsules that can be easily incorporated into any heart-protective diet to further cardiovascular well-being and promote healthy aging.”
Largely where we go wrong with our diets, and subsequently our health, is that too many processed items are consumed. The combination of fat and carbs are typically what makes many foods so addicting and satisfying to so many people. The great thing about nuts is that, within necessary parameters, they can provide the type of fat that is tasty and filling, but also provide you with necessary heart-health benefits. Heart disease is absolutely insidious and we should do everything that can be done to study this condition and learn which nutritional choices we should be making.
While nuts are an acquired taste for some, they can be great on salads or as part of fun trail mix. Do be mindful that many nut allergies have developed in recent years and, unfortunately, some people just can’t have nuts as their bodies react poorly to them. Anyone can be allergic to anything, yet the increase in nut allergies seems to be growing at a rapid rate.