Adding nuts in a person’s diet can reduce the risk of death from CVD (cardiovascular disease). Recent research presented at ESC (European Society of Cardiology) Congress has shown that eating nuts, at least two times a week, can decrease the chances of death from CVD by 17%.
Intake of nuts in diet can benefit heart health
Nuts can provide many health benefits. Nuts include almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, and seeds. They are a source of unsaturated fats. But provides only a little amount of saturated fats. In addition, nuts have protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytosterols, and polyphenols.
All of these can benefit the heart health of a person. Many studies have linked nuts with the protection against CVDs. CVDs are a group of diseases that affect the heart and blood vessels. And these may include coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, heart attack, and heart failure.
Globally, CVDs are the number one cause of deaths. In 2016, 17.9 million people have died from CVDs, which is 31% of the total deaths. While 85% of these deaths are due to stroke and heart attack. This study has assessed the link between the intake of nuts and the odds of CVDs and death.
It has examined how including nuts in the diet of Iranians can reduce the risk of death from CVD. And has involved a total of 5432 adults. That had an age of 35 or above and no history of CVD. In this study, the team has randomly selected the adults from rural and urban areas of the Arak, Najafabad, and Isfahan counties.
And has analyzed the intake of nuts in them. Where the food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) was used to validate this data. The team has questioned these adults every two years up till 2013 for the analysis of CVDs or death. While the specific outcomes questioned include CHD, stroke, death from CVD, or death from any other cause.
Eating nuts two times a week can decrease the risk of cardiovascular deaths by 17%
On average, the follow-up for 12 years has shown 751 cases of CVDs. That includes 594 cases of CHD and 157 of stroke. While the number of deaths due to CVDs was 179 and 458 for deaths due to all causes.
The results of the study have suggested that the intake of nuts for two or more times a week can lower the risk of CVDs by 17% in contrast to eating nuts once every 2 weeks. This link was strong even after adjusting the confounding factors.
These factors include sex, age, smoking, physical activity, and education. And can affect the results of the study. Even though the intake of nuts had an inverse relation with the other outcomes but lost its significance after adjusting these factors.
Including nuts in diet can reduce the risk of CVDs. The ESC has given the guidelines for the consumption of nuts. It suggests eating 30 g of unsalted nuts daily as a part of a healthy diet. But one should keep in mind the high energy density of the nuts.
Raw and fresh nuts are the healthiest ones. One should try to eat fresh nuts. Because in stale nuts, unsaturated fats can get oxidized. Where the bitter or sour taste of nuts or a paint-like smell can tell about the rancidity of nuts.