New research has shown that individuals who eat walnuts help those who have a risk of cardiovascular disease to lower their blood pressure, only if they feast on as a low diet of saturated fats.
The scientists, at Pennsylvania State University in State College, mentioned that they are the first ones to find out how walnuts may have an effect on an individual’s heart health.
The results of the research, which the California Walnut Commission part funded, now appear in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
When further researched about this nut, it was found that they contain a plant-based omega-3 called alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and scientists considered them to have outstanding effects on blood pressure.
The researchers further tried to dig deep about this nut to see if the ALA content in it is helpful for improving heart health or other ingredients such as polyphenols, which keeps blood pressure at a constant level for those being prone to cardiovascular disease.
The massive reason behind numerous deaths in US
Cardiovascular disease causes a huge proportion of deaths in adults of USA. A recent study of 2019 by American Heart Association (AHA) showcased that 840,000 individuals died in USA just because of cardiovascular disease in 2016. It was also known to all that most USA adults had some type of cardiovascular disease.
The American Health Association advised people that the rapid growth of people who have high blood pressure is the main cause of high level of cardiovascular disease.
Later on, the AHA noticed that the increase in the people with high blood pressure is because of 2017 change to the AHA/American College of Cardiology hypertension guidelines. The revised guideline explained high blood pressure to be read as 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), before being 140/90 mm Hg.
Diets which were tried out
The scientists chose 45 individuals, who were of age 30-65, overweight or obese physically. They were given a diet to consume for 2 weeks before the main study was conducted. The start-up diet was of a standard USA diet which included 12% calorie content from saturated fat. This made sure all the participants would be ready for the study at a particular point.
The scientists at random grouped the individuals in 3 diet groups, containing low in saturated fats. They were supposed to follow this diet for 6 weeks and then going on to the next. They all followed the diet at some time. The diets consisted of:
- A diet consisting only walnuts
- a diet with no walnuts but included same amount of ALA and polyunsaturated fatty acids
- a diet with no walnuts and kind of replaced the same amount of ALA included in walnuts with a different fatty acid called oleic acid
Walnuts and their connection with low blood pressure
The research team observed all the members for cardiovascular risk factors post their diet period. The data collected showed that there was some improvement in the heart health of the members of all three groups.
This information gave way to showcase that saturated fats should be replaced by unsaturated fats such as walnuts or vegetable oils. This would lead to cardiovascular advantages for individuals. It was also found that those who consumed only walnut diet indicated lower central blood pressure rather than the other two diets.
Central blood pressure is the force which moves towards the heart and scientist believe it is a trusted sign of a person’s cardiovascular risk.
“When participants ate whole walnuts, they saw greater benefits than when they consumed a diet with a similar fatty acid profile as walnuts without eating the nut itself,” explains lead study author Prof. Penny Kris-Etherton, at Pennsylvania State University.