Nuts to Heart Disease!

Harvard Health Publications reports that consumption of nuts is healthy, especially for men at risk for heart disease.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health decided to crack old myths by examining how eating nuts affects the cardiovascular health of men and women.

A 1993 trial evaluated 18 healthy male volunteers who were divided into two groups, then placed on diets providing 30% of calories from fat and conforming to the Step 1 diet of the National Cholesterol Education Program. Half the men got their dietary fat from the usual foods; the others got two-thirds of their fat from walnuts. At the end of a month, the walnut eaters had lower cholesterol levels, enjoying a 12% drop, which could translate into a 20%-30% decline in the risk of heart disease if it was maintained.

In Dr. Fuhrman's book Eat to Live he explains how nuts are an important part of an optimal diet.

Multiple studies have shown the protective effects of consuming walnuts, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. A study of 34,192 Californian Seventh-Day Adventists showed a 31 percent reduction in the lifetime risk of ischemic heart disease in those who consumed raw nuts frequently.1 The ideal diet for heart disease reversal, then, is free of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol; rich in nutrients and fiber; and low in calories, to achieve thinness. However, it should contain sufficient essential fatty acids, so it is important to add a small amount of nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flaxseed.

1. Siguel, E. N., and R. H. Lerman. 1994. Altered fatty acid metabolism in patients with angiographically documented coronary artery disease. Metabolism 43: 982-83; Simon, J.A., Fong, J.T. Bernoert Jr., and W.S. Browner. 1995. Serum fatty acids and the risk of stroke. 1995. Medical Tribune, June 8, p. 20; Harbige, L.S. 1998. Dietary n-6 and n-3 fatty acids in immunity and autoimmune disease. Proc. Nutr. Soc. 67 (4): 555-62; Horrobin, D.F. 2000. Essential fatty acid metabolism and its modification in atopic eczema. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 71 (1 supp.) 367s-72s; Adams, P.B., S. Lawson, A. Sanigorski, and A.J. Sinclair. 1996. Arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio in blood correlates positively with clinical symptoms of depression. Lipids 31 Supp.: s157-61; Edwards, R., M. Peet, J. Shay, and D. Horribin. 1998. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the diet and in red blood cell membranes of depressed patients. J. Affect. Disord. 48 (2-3): 149-55; Rose, D.P. 1997. Effects of dietary fatty acids on breast and prostrate cancers: evidence from in vitro experiments and animal studies. Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 66 (6 supp.): 1513s-22s.

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Elaine Nailing - March 1, 2012 7:00 PM

Currently, I am having a disagreement with my friend regarding his no use of olive oil or nuts. He removed nuts from his diet after watching the "Forks over Knives" DVD regarding how to reverse heart disease. He does not have heart disease. But what I have noticed is that he keeps getting smaller and smaller in his weight.
So... is it healthy to remove nuts from your diet. Also what do you think of Dr. Esslestyn's study regarding no nuts, including coconuts and also no avocados.

Any input you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I would hate to see my friend become seriously ill be advocating such a stringent diet.

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