Eating regular variety of nuts associated with lower risk of heart disease

People who regularly eat nuts, including peanuts, walnuts and tree nuts, have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease or coronary heart disease compared to people who never or almost never eat nuts, according to a new study. The study is the largest to date looking at frequency of nut consumption in relation to incident cardiovascular disease.

The study found a consistent inverse association between total nut consumption and total cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease. Also, after looking at individual nut consumption, eating walnuts one or more times per week was associated with a 19 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and 21 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease. Participants who ate peanuts or tree nuts two or more times per week had a 13 percent and 15 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, respectively, and a 15 percent and 23 percent, lower risk of coronary heart disease, respectively, compared to those who never consumed nuts.

Participants who consumed five or more servings of nuts a week had a 14 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease than participants who never or almost never consumed nuts. The results were similar when accounting for consumption of tree nuts, peanuts and walnuts individually. Researchers found no evidence of an association between total nut consumption and risk of stroke, but eating peanuts and walnuts was inversely associated with the risk of stroke. Peanut butter and tree nuts were not associated with stroke risk.

So that bowl of nuts on the bar?  Yes, eat them.

Source article here.

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Americans are Eating Less and Less Meat Every Year

What’s particularly fascinating is that almost none of the decline in meat (and fish) consumption in the U.S. comes from a major increase in vegetarianism. The rate of vegetarianism in our country has remained at around 5 to 8 percent for years. But the reduction in meat consumption by people who aren’t vegetarians but are cutting back on eating animal flesh—is what’s really fueling this trend. In fact, a 2013 Mintel study found that while only about 22 million Americans consider themselves vegetarian, 113 million buy meat alternatives like Gardein, Tofurky, and Beyond Meat. In other words, the market for vegetarian meats is being largely driven by non-vegetarians.

Source: Americans are Eating Less and Less Meat Every Year. Why?

This is an older article from 2015 but is worth sharing.

Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets

A plant-based diet is not an all-or-nothing program, but a way of life that is tailored to each individual. It may be especially beneficial for those with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, or cardiovascular disease. The benefits realized will be relative to the level of adherence and the amount of animal products consumed. Strict forms of plant-based diets with little or no animal products may be needed for individuals with inoperable or severe coronary artery disease. Low-sodium, plant-based diets may be prescribed for individuals with high blood pressure or a family history of coronary artery disease or stroke. A patient with obesity and diabetes will benefit from a plant-based diet that includes a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables and minimal low-fat animal products. Severe obesity may require counseling and initial management with a low-calorie diet or very-low-calorie diet and the supervision of a physician’s team. Patients with kidney disease may need a plant-based diet with special restrictions, for example fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium and phosphorus. Finally, patients with thyroid disease will need to be careful when consuming plants that are mild goitrogens, like soy, raw cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, and corn. These patients should be informed that cooking these vegetables inactivates the goitrogens.

Source: Nutritional Update for Physicians: Plant-Based Diets

Global Nutrition Study Changes Nothing – The Atlantic

The practically important findings were that the healthiest people in the world had diets that are full of fruits, beans, seeds, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in refined carbohydrates and sugar.

As researcher Victoria Miller of McMaster University put it, “Our results indicate that recommendations should emphasize raw vegetable intake over cooked.”  There is a novel idea. Dietary guidelines usually don’t encourage people to prioritize raw vegetables over cooked. Maybe they should. That could be a headline. “Cooking Your Vegetables? Welcome to Early Death.”

When measuring diet, for example, lifelong randomized, controlled trials are impossible. Even if people would volunteer to change their diets for a decade or so—a period long enough that rates of death and cancer and heart attacks could be meaningful—it would be impossible to keep the research subjects blinded. Our perceptions of how well we’re eating change how we behave in a lot of other ways.

Source: PURE, a New Global Nutrition Study, Changes Nothing – The Atlantic

Great article.  Guess I’ll start eating more salads and walking faster.

Slow Walking Indicator of Heart-Related Death

Source: Slow Walking Indicator of Heart-Related Death, Study Finds | American Council on Science and Health

Earlier articles with walking-speed vs death association:
2015:
“5 year mortality predictors in 498 103 UK Biobank participants: a prospective population-based study”. Excerpts related to walking:
– Self-reported health and walking pace were the strongest predictors in both sexes and across different causes of deaths.
– Our findings suggest that measures that can be simply obtained by verbal interview without physical examination (eg, self-reported health and walking pace) are the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality.
http://www.thelancet.com/jo…

2013
“Association of walking speed in late midlife with mortality: results from the Whitehall II cohort study.”:
– Slow walking speed is associated with increased mortality in the elderly, but it is unknown whether a similar association is present in late midlife. Our aim was to examine walking speed in late midlife as a predictor of mortality, as well as factors that may explain this association.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.go…

Hat Tip and thanks to fellow reader John H. Newcomb who provided the quotes and links above in the comments section from the original article.