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Should You Add Walnuts To Your Diet?

A recent study has shown that older people’s nutrient profiles were improved when they incorporated walnuts in their diet. 

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Should You Add Walnuts To Your Diet?

A recent study has shown that older people’s nutrient profiles were improved when they incorporated walnuts in their diet

The Study

This study analyzed healthy elderly participants, aged between 63 and 79 years old, for two years, after being given a dietary trial. They were requested to follow their regular diets, but half of them were asked to completely avoid tree nuts, and the other half were asked to eat walnuts on a regular basis- around 15 percent of their daily intake. 

The scientists then compared the nutrient profiles of both groups. The results showed much higher improvement in the nutrient profiles of those who consumed walnuts. They also showed a much higher average daily energy intake. They had a much larger consumption of macronutrients, such as plant proteins, and micronutrients like magnesium, manganese and copper. 

On the other hand, macronutrients such as carbohydrates, saturated fats and animal proteins, and micronutrients like sodium, riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin E were much lower in that group. 

These changes are known to reduce cholesterol intake- which is required for optimal cardiovascular health, especially in older subjects. 

The Downsides?

Although both groups met nearly all of the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) criteria, they both also exceeded their recommended intakes of saturated fats, total fat and sodium- which are known to negatively affect cardiovascular health.

The walnut group also exceeded their limit for poly-unsaturated fat intake- due to the large amounts of them in walnuts.  

This study also strictly focused on older subjects and so may not apply to other age groups or populations, the researchers emphasized. However, the scientists do recommend incorporating a decent amount of walnuts in your diet as an older person to help prevent risks of coronary heart diseases. 

They recommend that dieticians and clinicians work on developing strategies in order to encourage the older generations to incorporate them in their diets.

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