Eat more Nuts such as Peanuts to Maintain Healthy Heart and Fat
Dr. Penny Kris-Etherton, distinguished professor of nutrition and lead author of the review, says, "To date, five large epidemiologic studies and 11 clinical studies have demonstrated that 1 ounce of nuts or peanuts more than 5 times/week can result in a 25 to 39 percent of decreases the risk of coronary heart disease."
As little as two ounces of nuts a week appears to help lower heart disease risk. Healthful choices include: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts. Nuts are rich in:
- Arginine, a substance that may improve blood vessel function
- Fiber and vitamin E may also help lower cardiovascular risk
- Unsaturated fats including alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fats found in walnuts may protect against irregular heart rhythms.
- Peanuts are a rich source of magnesium and folate, vitamin B6, vitamin E, copper, arginine and fiber, all of which have cardiovascular disease risk-reducing properties.'
- Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium.
- Pistachios are the only nut to contain significant amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin-two carotenoids that have been associated with the prevention of age-related macular degeneration.
- Fat has 9 calories per gram, and carbohydrates and proteins each have 4 calories per gram, so fat has more than twice as many calories as the same weight of other foods.
Nuts are a rich source of plant protein dietary fiber, antioxidant vitamins, minerals and numerous bioactive substances of unsaturated fatty acids, the "good" fats, and are low in saturated fatty acids, the "bad" fats. Most of the trans fat we eat comes from a manufacturing process in which liquid vegetable oil gets hydrogenated, in the presence of a metal catalyst, so that its chemical structure more closely resembles a saturated fat. The body treats this partially hydrogenated fat like a saturated fat, raising the risk of heart disease. "You have to replace some of the calories you usually consume with nuts and substitute the unsaturated fat in nuts for some of the saturated fat in your diet;” research suggested.
Too much cholesterol has long been linked to increasing risks of developing heart disease, but it has been less clear how the various dietary fats -- saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated -- make people susceptible to the disease. Nuts are generally high in unsaturated fats and have a low GI (glycaemic index), which can help with blood glucose level control. Women who consume nuts five times a week are at a 27 per cent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes; researchers in Boston, USA has found.
Dr. Amy E. Griel, recent Ph.D. recipient in nutritional sciences found (May 1, 2007) in a study "Macadamia nuts have higher levels of monounsaturated fats, like those found in olive oil compared with other tree nuts;" The Healthy Heart diet with macadamia nuts did reduce total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared with the standard American diet. "We observed a reduction in LDL similar to that seen with other tree nuts like walnuts and almonds;" they concluded.
Substituting soy nuts for other protein sources in a healthy diet appears to lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women, and also may reduce cholesterol levels in women with high blood pressure, according to a research (May 29, 2007) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. In women with high blood pressure, the soy diet also decreased levels of low-density lipoprotein ("bad") cholesterol by an average of 11 percent and levels of apoliprotein B (a particle that carries bad cholesterol) by an average of 8 percent. Cholesterol levels remained the same in women with normal blood pressure.
Chemists at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va., analyzed some 27 nut and seed products and found that pistachios and sunflower kernels had the highest levels of phytosterols (a class of plant chemicals that have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health) among the nuts and seeds that are most commonly consumed as snack foods in the United States.
Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health shows that nuts really are healthy, especially those who have already suffered a heart attack, can reduce cardiovascular risk by eating nuts regularly.” Nuts may not be the key to cardiovascular health, but adding nuts to a balanced, healthful diet can take you one step away from heart disease," they suggested.
Scientists from the University of Illinois found that the mineral selenium which can be found in Brazil nuts, liver and kidneys, may help the body defend itself by 'cancer-fighting' enzyme to offer protection. They have suggested that it can reduce the likelihood of other types of cancer, and some have linked it to a lowered chance of heart disease.
A collaborative study led by UCL (University College London) shows that the compound - inositol pentakisphosphate - found in most legumes (such as lentils, peas, beans, wheat bran, cereals and nuts) inhibits a key enzyme (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) involved in tumor growth and could be used to sensitize cancer cells to the action of commonly used anti-cancer drugs. Not only was it found to inhibit the growth of tumors in mice, but the phosphate also enhanced the effect of cytotoxic drugs in ovarian and lung cancer cells.
Another study (12 Jun 2007), conducted by George Mason University and Inova Fairfax Hospital, found that in people with moderately high cholesterol levels, a daily diet consisting of 15% of calories from pistachios nuts (about two to three ounces or one to two handfuls of kernels) over a four-week period favorably improved some blood lipid levels. They concluded that most of the fat in pistachios nuts (almost 90%) - is "good" or monounsaturated fat, which can lower blood cholesterol along with heart disease.
Monounsaturated fat comprises 55% of the fat in pistachios; 32% is polyunsaturated. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease when they replace saturated fats in the diet. Of all snack nuts, pistachios offer the highest level of phytosterols, and are a powerful source of fiber, both of which reduce the absorption of cholesterol from the diet. Pistachios make a wise snack choice as they are contain dense levels of eight nutrients including thiamin, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium, fiber, phosphorus and magnesium.
Nuts can be part of a healthy weight-loss program. Nuts are high in calories and fat. However, most nuts contain healthy fats that do not clog arteries. Nuts are also good sources of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals including magnesium and copper. Peanuts have a high satiety value, and that feeling of being full reduces the amount a person eats and triggers an increase in people's resting metabolic rate. People can feel comfortable including them in their diet to take advantage of peanuts' reducing the triglyceride level - a risk factor for risk of heart disease, without adding to body weight.'
Recent studies supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) show that blood pressure can be lowered by following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan—and by eating less salt, also called sodium. They emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, whole grain products, fish, poultry, and nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, kidney beans, lentils, split peas. It also overlooks mounting evidence that replacing red meat with a combination of fish, poultry, beans, and nuts offers numerous health benefits.
Recent (Nov. 1, 2007) studies published in the issue of ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry have shown that boiled peanuts contain powerful antioxidants called isoflavones which may reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes and coronary heart diseases. They evaluated the effect of boiling and oil- and dry-roasting on peanuts. They found that boiled peanuts - South Carolina's official snack food - contained up to four times more isoflavones than raw peanuts or oil- and dry-roasted ones.
Pistachio nuts are a healthful alternative to snacks that are high in sugar, sodium and saturated fats to develop healthy snacking habits doesn't have to be an uphill battle. "With all the recent excitement about the health benefits of nuts, now is the time for parents to put the spotlight on pistachios," says Dr. David Heber, director, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition recently. "The nuts are packed with nutrition, and kids love eating them. Plus, they're a satisfying snack that keeps children feeling full longer."
Betel nut, which contains an addictive stimulant similar to nicotine, is widely used in parts of Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan and the South Pacific as a breath freshener, a hunger antidote, a substitute for cigarettes and as a way to get high as a breath freshener, a hunger antidote, a substitute for cigarettes and as a way to get high. "If you don't want oral cancer, the most direct way is to quit chewing betel nuts," Wu Chien-yuan, chief of cancer prevention in the Taiwan health ministry after a study confirmed its benefit.
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