sumers. Tree nut consumers also had lower weight (80 v 82 kg; p=0.0049), BMI (28v 29; p<0.0001), and waist circumference (96 v 98 cm; p=0.0006) than non-consumers. In addition, those who consumed tree nuts had lower systolic blood pressure (120 v 122 mmHg; p=0.0120) and higher HDL-cholesterol (the good kind) (55 v 53 mg/dL; p=0.0020). On a population basis, these reduced risk factors could lead to better health. "Consumption of tree nuts should be encouraged to improve diet quality, nutrient intake, weight status, and some cardiovascular risk factors," according to Carol O'Neil, PhD, MPH, RD, lead author on the paper and Professor at Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.
Finally, a third study looked at several markers for cardiovascular disease risk. In 2011, researchers from the University of Toronto and St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto, Canada, published the largest study to date on nuts and diabetes (Jenkins, D.J.A., et al., 2011. Nuts as a replacement for carbohydrates in the diabetic diet. Diabetes Care. 34(8):1706-11.), showing that approximately two ounces of nuts a day, as a replacement for carbohydrate foods, can improve glycemic control and blood lipids in those with type 2 diabetes. The researchers looked at the effects of nuts on various cardiovascular markers. "We found that nut consumption was associated with an increase in monounsaturated fatty acids (the good fats) in the blood, which was correlated with a decrease in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol (the bad kind), blood pressure, 10-year coronary heart disease risk, HbA1c (a marker of blood sugar control over the previous three months) and fasting blood glucose," explained Cyril Kendall, Ph.D., of the University of Toronto. "Nut consumption was also found to increase LDL particle size, which is less damaging when it comes to heart disease risk." According to Dr. Kendall, this study found additional ways in which nut consumption may improve overall cardiovascular health.
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|Contact: Maureen Ternus|
International Tree Nut Council
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