"Essentially, they confirmed what the current recommendations from the American Heart Association and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are saying," added Lichtenstein, who's also a spokeswoman for the American Heart Association.
However, she said, ''the results of this study do not provide a license to start snacking on nuts or adding nuts to salads and yogurt without taking something out of the diet that has an equivalent number of calories. The same goes for olive oil."
Steinbaum added: "Every time you use butter, just use olive oil instead. Instead of snacking on popcorn, have some nuts."
The California Walnut Commission is a sponsor of the Congress. One study researcher is on the commission's board. Another has received grants from the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council. The Spanish government funded the research.
To learn more about the Mediterranean diet, visit the American Heart Association.
SOURCES: Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, preventive medicine and public health, Universidad de Navarra, Spain; Alice Lichtenstein, Stanley Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, and spokeswoman, American Heart Association; Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., director, Women and Heart Disease, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City, and spokeswoman, American Heart Association; Feb. 25, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine, online; Feb. 25, 2013, presentation, International Congress on Vegetarian Nutrition, Loma Linda, Calif.
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