- Eating nuts could dramatically reduce
women's chances of getting heart disease, according to new research.
- A 14-year study of more than 85,000 British
nurses shows that eating any kind of nut can significantly reduce the likelihood
of heart attacks and fatal coronary disease.
- The researchers, from Harvard University's
Department of Nutrition, found that only 14 women who ate an ounce of nuts
five or more times a week died of coronary heart disease, compared with
197 who did not eat nuts.
- The reduction in risk was the same for
non-fatal heart disease.
- Writing in The British Medical Journal,
the researchers said they took into account many other factors which could
affect health, including previously diagnosed heart conditions, diet, exercise,
smoking, alcohol intake, consumption of vitamins and even aspirin use.
- They also managed to measure consumption
of peanut butter.
- Nutritious nuts
- The researchers say they think nuts are
good for the heart because they have beneficial effects on blood lipids,
- Many also contain arginine, a substance
that helps the body to relax.
- Most nuts contain similar nutrients so
the researchers said that peanuts were also beneficial - except those with
added hydrogenated fat.
- Walnuts appeared to be the top nut in
terms of health as they also contain a high level of linolenic acid, which
has been linked to reduced risk of heart disease.
- The researchers based their study on
the Mediterranean diet which is rich in nuts.
- People living in Mediterranean countries
are less likely to suffer heart disease.