Add a handful of nuts to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fish is useful for controlling a set of cardiovascular risk factors, known as metabolic syndrome. This is the main conclusion of a Spanish study whose results are published in the latest issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.
Shows that regular consumption of walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds is more beneficial to health than the intake of olive oil, a fat known for its heart-healthy properties.
To conduct their research, the team analyzed the case of 1,224 volunteers aged 55 to 80 years and a high cardiovascular risk profile involved in Prevention with Mediterranean Diet.
Individuals were assigned to three different groups. So, while one was instructed to take a low calorie diet, the other two groups received information on the Mediterranean diet. Of the latter, one received a liter of olive oil a week and the other a package of 30 grams of nuts a day.
After a year of follow up, the researchers found that all groups had improved in the control of cardiovascular risk factors, but the greatest benefits were seen in the group that had been drinking usually nuts.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome fell by 13.7% in the latter individuals, while it fell by 6.7% among those who had taken olive oil and 2% among participants who took a low-fat diet.
The researchers also found that although the weight of the participants did not change during the study, in the group of nuts-and did decrease significantly, the number of individuals with a high waist circumference, high triglyceride levels and hypertension.
This, say the authors of this study, suggests the existence of a beneficial effect of nuts himself. Nuts are rich in unsaturated fats. By eating these fats are replaced with other sources of lipids and carbohydrates sleazy and possibly this implies an improvement of the processes of inflammation and oxidation in the body.
The expert points out that, probably, these benefits of nuts are obtained only if accompanied by a Mediterranean diet. Although not studied, consumption of nuts in the context of a healthy diet rich in animal fats and trans fats, lose their protective role.