Does eating peanuts keep the cardiologist away?
BOSTON - A new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology points to the extraordinary health benefits of regularly eating peanuts and tree nuts. Participants who consumed peanuts two or more times a week had a 15 percent lower risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) than those who never or almost never consumed peanuts.
The Harvard Public Health study looked at more than 169,000 women and 41,000 men over more than two decades.
Consumption of peanuts and tree nuts (two or more times per week) and walnuts (1 or more times per week) was associated with a 13 percent to 19 percent lower risk of total cardiovascular disease and 15% to 23% lower risk of coronary heart disease. There was also a 10 percent lower risk of stroke compared to the group that never or almost never consumed peanuts.
“Nuts have a unique nutritional composition, high in unsaturated fats, fiber and minerals,” said the lead author, Dr. Marta Guasch-Ferré, at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “They should be included as part of a healthy diet.”
But what about people who eat peanuts more than two times a week, is that even healthier?
The research shows consuming peanuts five times per week did in fact have a 14 percent lower risk of Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) and a 20 percent lower risk of CHD. The new study is a meta-analysis pulled from findings from the Nurses’ Health Study (1980-2012), Nurses’ Health Study II (1991-2013) and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (1986-2012).
“With the focus on a more plant-based diet, we know peanut consumption is growing because it’s an affordable and sustainable source of protein. We’re also very pleased to spread the news about the health benefits of peanuts,” said Dr. Darlene Cowart, Chairman of the Board of The Peanut Institute. “We’ve seen data that nut consumption could help with weight loss, with diabetes, now with this huge multi-year study we see that peanuts could help many people prevent heart disease and live a long and healthier life, and we’re happy to share the good news.”