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Heart of a Walnut

An updated Harvard University study shows that walnuts may play a big role in a…

  • August 11, 2018

An updated Harvard University study shows that walnuts may play a big role in a “heart healthy diet”, California Walnut Commission is happy to report.

The Harvard University review examines 25 years of evidence for the role of walnut consumption on cardiovascular risk factors, including cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and weight.

The original meta-analysis, “Effects of walnut consumption on blood lipids and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis and systematic review,” was published in 2009 and reviewed 13 trials representing 365 individuals.

Findings from the meta-analysis suggest that walnut-enriched diets may lead to significantly greater reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B, compared to control diets.

The Health Nut

Walnuts have been investigated for their potential benefits on a variety of health outcomes, including cancer, gut health, diabetes, cognitive function, and male reproductive health, but the strongest evidence exists for cardiovascular benefits.

Walnuts are recognized by the American Heart Association and U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a heart-healthy3food, and there are a number of properties in walnuts that may be responsible for health benefits.

They are a rich source of recommended polyunsaturated fat (13 grams per ounce), which includes an excellent source of the essential omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (2.5 grams per ounce).

Walnuts also offer a variety of antioxidants (3.721 mmol/oz), including polyphenols (69.3 ± 16.5 ?mol catechin equivalents/g) and gamma tocopherol (5.91 mg/ounce).

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