Wellness

Cancer

A healthy eating pattern that includes a variety of plant-based foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains, oils, nuts and seeds, as well as protein and fat-free or low-fat dairy, is associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancers, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Walnuts offer a variety of important nutrients, including good fats, making them an ideal ingredient for plant-based meals. Check out the plant-based eating tips and recipes for ways to incorporate more plant foods, like walnuts, into your diet.

Diabetes

For many reasons, walnuts can be a nutritious food for people living with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. More than 29 million Americans are living with diabetes and about 23 percent of adults are affected by metabolic syndrome. Individuals with diabetes or metabolic syndrome often have conditions such as high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, high triglycerides and obesity, which increase the risk for heart disease and stroke.

Gut Health

Research on the gut microbiome and its impact on health continues to grow. Scientists are finding that certain foods contribute to positive changes in the gut. Although there is still much to learn, studies suggest that walnuts may play a role in gut health including increasing the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut.1,2,3,4

1 Byerley LO, Samuelson D, Blanchard E, et al. Changes in the Gut Microbial Communities Following Addition of Walnuts to the Diet. J Nutr Biochem. 2017;48:94-102. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2017.07.001.
2 Nakanishi M, Chen Y, Qendro V, et al. Effects of walnut consumption on colon carcinogenesis and microbial community structure. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2016;9(8):692-703. doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.
3 Holscher HD, Guetterman HM, Swanson KS, et al. Walnut Consumption Alters the Gastrointestinal Microbiota, Microbially Derived Secondary Bile Acids, and Health Markers in Healthy Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial [published online ahead of print May 3, 2018]. J Nutr. doi.org/10.1093/jn/nxy004
4 Bamberger C, Rossmeier A, Lechner K, et al. A Walnut-Enriched Diet Affects Gut Microbiome in Healthy Caucasian Subjects: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(2): 244. doi:10.3390/nu10020244.

Healthy Aging

The effects of aging can impact the quality of life and the ability to maintain independence. Research on the role of diet on brain health continues to evolve. Limited evidence suggests that eating a diet containing a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and seafood during adulthood is associated with lower risk of age-related cognitive impairment, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Heart Health

Walnuts are a heart-healthy food1, certified through the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check program.2 Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S.3 The good news is that many of the risk factors associated with heart disease can be controlled with dietary and lifestyle changes. Since 1993, published research has been investigating how eating walnuts affects various heart health markers such as LDL (“bad”) and HDL (“good”) cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammation, and plaque formation.

1 Supportive but not conclusive research shows that eating 1.5 ounces of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, and not resulting in increased caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. One ounce of walnuts provides 18g of total fat, 2.5g of monounsaturated fat, 13g of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5g of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3.
2 Heart-Check Certification does not apply to scientific research by an organization other than the American Heart Association, unless expressly stated.
3 CDC. Heart Disease Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm

Plant-Based Eating

Compared to a typical American diet, a plant-based philosophy is higher in unsaturated fats and fiber. Fruits and vegetables, whole grains and a variety of protein-rich foods like beans and peas, nuts, seeds and soy (like edamame) are the mainstays of this eating style. Plant-based eating doesn’t have to be vegetarian or vegan. Low-fat milk and dairy products, seafood, lean meat, poultry and eggs can also be included if desired, but are not the focus of plant-based menus.

View, download, and print the full Plant-Based Eating Resource Guide.

Reproductive Health

The American Society for Reproductive Medicine has found evidence that infertility affects men and women equally with about one-third of infertility cases being attributed to male factors, and about one-third to factors that affect women. Findings from walnut health studies have provided encouraging results regarding men’s reproductive health research and walnuts may play a role.

Watch this video to learn more about men’s reproductive health research.

The Mediterranean Diet

Walnuts are a traditional component of the Mediterranean diet and a key ingredient in the landmark PREDIMED study. A Mediterranean diet is based on foods that are commonly eaten in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, including Italy, Greece, Spain and Turkey. Fortunately, you can enjoy the benefits of this way of eating no matter where you live.

Learn more about landmark PREDIMED study (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea, or Prevention with Mediterranean Diet) study.

Weight

Walnuts are predominantly made up of good fats, which play an important role in the diet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends shifting food choices from those high in saturated fats to those high in good unsaturated fats, like those found in walnuts.

Walnuts can also be part of a healthy diet that won’t contribute to weight gain or hinder weight loss goals. Incorporating them into meals and snacks is a simple and convenient way to add important nutrients to your diet.

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