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Multiple Recent Studies Examine Walnuts & Heart Health

New findings from three publications supported by the California Walnut Commission, demonstrate the impact of walnuts on various aspects of heart health. The findings were so compelling that the papers were supported by the journals with a press release and/or editorial coverage, stimulating broad media coverage. The California Walnut Board (CWB)/California Walnut Commission’s (CWC) mission is to work collectively to promote the benefits and many ways walnuts can play a role in the overall health of consumers in the U.S. and around the world.

Here are the highlights:

  • A studypublished in the online journal Heart analyzed the impact of a traditional Mediterranean diet, green Mediterranean diet, and healthy US diet on LDL cholesterol, weight and insulin resistance. Both Mediterranean diets included a daily serving of walnuts.
  • Research shared in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologylooked at regular consumption of foods rich in marine or plant-based omega-3s and risk of death among individuals who have suffered a heart attack. Walnuts are the only nut with an excellent source of plant-based omega-3 ALA (2.5 grams/ounce).
  • Another publication in the Journal of the American College of Cardiologyexplored regular consumption of walnuts and anti-inflammatory effects. Chronic inflammation, caused by factors such as poor diet, obesity, stress and high blood pressure, is damaging and a factor associated with heart disease risk.

These publications and subsequent editorials and press releases have been seen over 400 million times by U.S. consumers to-date, in popular media outlets such as TODAY, Health Digest, Yahoo!, Consumer Reports, and Eat This, Not That! The California Walnut Commission (CWC) continues to fund health research to address important scientific questions, ultimately sharing findings that educate consumers about the health benefits of walnuts, helping to build market demand within the industry.

In this case, consumers can see how including walnuts in their diet can have a beneficial impact on heart health and this easily translates to keeping walnuts top-of-mind when grocery shopping. This news also keeps walnuts in front of health professionals, who can then recommend walnuts to their patients based on new evidence-based research.

Carol Sloan RDN, FAND, Health Research Director for California Walnuts shares, “Our industry health research program is dedicated to funding research in a credible and transparent manner that will improve understanding and expand knowledge about the effects of walnut consumption on public health outcomes.”

Carol Sloan

“The program began with study findings showing the positive benefits of consuming walnuts as part of a healthy diet on decreasing risk of heart disease,” Sloan continued.  “Although it is now well established that walnuts are a heart-healthy food, California Walnuts continues to support research in this area to build upon previous scientific findings, and also to keep pace with new biomarkers and outcomes related to heart disease, the #1 cause of death in the US.”

“As a registered dietitian, I appreciate the fact that I can share scientific findings with my colleagues that assist consumers with having healthier lives with the simple addition of heart healthy foods like walnuts. Enjoying a handful of walnuts a day is an easy way to decrease risk of chronic illness such as heart disease. For example, preparing walnut “meat” tacos for dinner, or putting walnut butter on toast for breakfast or in a smoothie with fruits and walnut milk for lunch are easy, delicious and fun ways to eat more plants, including walnuts without sacrificing taste or nutrition,” Sloan concluded.

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