Eat walnuts to keep age-related health issues at bay

The findings showed that intake of walnuts, especially by the elderly, can boost the good fats and other nutrients as well as lower obesity and blood cholesterol levels.

By: IANS | London | Published: April 6, 2016 11:53 am
Walnut and walnut kernel. Although consuming walnuts can initially increase body weight, there will be no adverse effects on their body weight when consumed over a year. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Daily consumption of walnuts can help in healthy ageing, while also improving the blood cholesterol levels and maintaining good gut health, finds a new study.

The findings showed that intake of walnuts, especially by the elderly, can boost the good fats and other nutrients as well as lower obesity and blood cholesterol levels. Initially found to increase body weight, the study’s preliminary results demonstrated that daily consumption of walnuts for one year by a sizeable cohort of older adults had no adverse effects on their body weight.

“Given that walnuts are a high-energy food, a prevailing concern has been that their long-term consumption might be associated with weight gain,” said Emilio Ros, director of the Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, Spain. For the study, the team instructed 707 healthy older adults to add daily doses of walnuts (approximately 15 per cent of caloric intake) to their typical diet or to consume their usual diet without nuts.

Also read: Feel hungry after work? Eat healthy to avoid weight gain 

The participants were not given advice on total calorie and macronutrient intake or food substitution for walnuts. After a year, both groups showed similar results for weight gain, triglycerides and HDL (or ‘good’) cholesterol, but those eating walnuts experienced significant LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol reductions.

Also read: Eating almonds daily can boost your overall health

“We will further assess how walnut consumption may affect, among other outcomes, cognitive decline and age-related macular degeneration, conditions that were major public health concerns,” Ros added.

The findings from the Walnuts and Healthy Aging (WAHA) study were presented at the ongoing Experimental Biology 2016 in San Deigo, US.

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