Walnuts have numerous health benefits.
Foods are a significant factor in overall health.
Highly processed food tends to lead to poor health outcomes.
Think food that comes out of a bag or box with a list of unpronounceable ingredients and chemicals on the label.
Although less processed foods are better in general, some types of natural foods are still better than other types of natural foods.
According to a recent VeryWell Health article titled, “Study: Walnuts Support Lifelong, Heart-Healthy Eating,” walnuts are considered a good food unless you have a nut allergy.
A recent study run by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and published in Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Disease reviewed how these nuts impacted the cardiovascular health of young adults.
The researchers looked at data from adults ages 18 to 30 enrolled in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study.
The study involved three dietary self-reports.
The first self-report was a baseline at the beginning of the study.
The second report was taken in year seven of the study.
The third self-report was taken in year 20.
In addition to the self-reports, clinical and physical measurements were taken multiple times for each individual over the 30 years of the study.
The research team divided the data into categories of “no nut consumers,” “walnut consumers,” and “other nut consumers”.
The largest group of participants was “other nut consumers” with 2,494 individuals.
Only 177 indicated they did not consume any nuts.
Those who included walnuts in their diet numbered 352.
Of those who consumed walnuts, the average amount eaten each day was about three-fourths of an ounce.
The number of other nuts consumed each day averaged about half an ounce.
The team of researchers also looked at risk factors for heart disease in each study participant.
These factors included blood pressure, body composition, plasma lipids (triglycerides), smoking status, dietary intake, insulin concentrations, and fasting blood glucose.
What were the study findings?
Eating walnuts in young adulthood demonstrated positive outcomes.
In the follow-up after 30 years, the researchers found self-reported physical activity was higher in those who consumed walnuts.
The participants who consumed walnuts had lower measurements for blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), triglyceride levels, and waist circumferences.
Weight gain among walnut eaters was also less.
Those who consumed walnuts also had a higher total diet quality score than those who did not eat nuts or only ate other nuts.
In contrast to those who did not consume nuts at all, those who ate walnuts had lower concentrations of fasting blood glucose (sugar).
As a result, the study strongly suggests walnuts have numerous health benefits when consumed in young and middle adulthood.
It confirmed the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation to include nuts in your diet.
Walnuts are high in key nutrients like omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), calcium, copper, fiber, folate, iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, thiamin, vitamin B6, and zinc.
Eating one ounce of walnuts daily can be a good dietary decision.
Reference: VeryWell Health (Sep. 30, 2022) “Study: Walnuts Support Lifelong, Heart-Healthy Eating”