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Walnuts and Metabolic Syndrome: Does the Fat Outweigh the Benefits?

Walnuts have had a great reputation when it comes to lowering cholesterol, in general, being a brain-friendly superfood. But some have wondered if the food’s healthy fats might add to waistlines and undo their own good work as a result.

Fortunately, there’s good news for the walnut lovers out there. A systematic review of metabolic syndrome (the clustering of high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, elevated blood pressure, and extra abdominal weight) has found that there are no worries on that count. In fact, they found that walnut consumption in middle-aged and older adults decreased triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and inflammatory markers without causing weight or blood sugar issues.

While the researchers mention that more complete studies need to be done in order to measure the benefits more accurately, they conclude that walnuts are the smart addition to diets of any individual, middle aged or older, who wants to avoid metabolic syndrome.

Abstract:

Mateș L, Popa DS, Rusu ME, Fizeșan I, Leucuța D. Walnut Intake Interventions Targeting Biomarkers of Metabolic Syndrome and Inflammation in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022 Jul 21;11(7):1412. doi: 10.3390/antiox11071412. PMID: 35883903; PMCID: PMC9312161.

Biomarkers of metabolic syndrome and inflammation are pathophysiological predictors and factors of senescence and age-related diseases. Recent evidence showed that particular diet components, such as walnuts rich in antioxidant bioactive compounds and with a balanced lipid profile, could have positive outcomes on human health. A systematic search in PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Scopus, and ClinicalTrials.gov databases was performed to retrieve randomized controlled trials published from the beginning of each database through November 2021, reporting on the outcomes of walnut consumption over 22 metabolic syndrome and inflammatory markers in middle-aged and older adults. The search strategy rendered 17 studies in the final selection, including 11 crossover and 6 parallel trials. The study revealed that walnut-enriched diets had statistically significant decreasing effects for triglyceride, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol concentrations on some inflammatory markers and presented no consequences on anthropometric and glycemic parameters. Although further studies and better-designed ones are needed to strengthen these findings, the results emphasize the benefits of including walnuts in the dietary plans of this age group.

Here is the link to the complete article: Walnut Intake Interventions Targeting Biomarkers of Metabolic Syndrome and Inflammation in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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Terry is happy to provide his opinion on diet and nutrition, supplements and lifestyle choices. This information is for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the advice of your physician and is not to be considered medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Should you have any concerns please contact your physician directly.
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