Nuts May Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

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Eating nuts may lower the risk for heart disease.

Researchers studied 210,836 men and women involved in three large prospective health studies from 1980 to 2013. They assessed nut consumption with food frequency questionnaires, updated every four years. Over the years, there were 8,390 cases of coronary heart disease and 5,910 strokes.

After controlling for smoking, hypertension, family history of heart disease and other factors, they found that the more nuts of all kinds that people ate, the lower their risk for cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.

Compared to those who ate none, people who ate less than one one-ounce serving of nuts a week reduced their risk for heart attack and stroke by 9 percent and their risk for coronary heart disease by 12 percent. Eating a one-ounce serving five times a week was associated with a 14 percent reduction in cardiovascular events and a 20 percent reduction in coronary heart disease.

The study, in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found similar effects when it looked at types of nuts, including peanuts, separately.

“Nuts have a unique nutritional composition, high in unsaturated fats, fiber and minerals,” said the lead author, Marta Guasch-Ferré, a research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “They should be included as part of a healthy diet.”

The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.