WALNUTS ARE THE 21ST CENTURY ‘SUPER FOOD’
There are few foods that are as nutritiously complete and good for the human body as walnuts. For more than a dozen years, research by highly-respected scientific and clinical experts has continued to reveal that this “Super Food” is packed with nutrients that positively affect the body on a multitude of levels.
Walnuts are unique as one of the most nutrient-dense whole food sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Numerous studies have concluded that omega-3s help reduce the potential for heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and clinical depression.
The bottom line is that walnuts contribute nutrients essential to a healthy lifestyle. Eating walnuts is one of the easiest things a person can do to improve their health. Best of all, they taste great and are ideally suited for inclusion in any diet, as part of meals or snacks.
NEW DIETARY GUIDELINES: POLYUNSATURATED FAT IN WALNUTS A WISE CHOICE
Including healthy fats in the diet is one of the key messages of the individualized “My Pyramid Plan” announced in April 2005 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This new symbol and interactive food guidance system illustrates recommendations from the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, announced in January 2005 by the USDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The guidelines stress the need for consumers to be more aware of the benefits of polyunsaturated fat in order to achieve a healthy diet. The main benefit is the essential fatty acids available only from polyunsaturated fat. When it comes to this subject, more people need to know fish are not the only source of omega-3 fatty acids.
The guidelines suggest that people consume the majority of their daily fat calories from unsaturated fat. Plant sources of polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids such as walnuts are specifically noted. This recommendation reaffirms the recommendations made by other authoritative bodies such as the American Heart Association
“It is an important and positive step that the new dietary guidelines recognize the role that healthy fats play in the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases. As a beneficial alternative to marine sources, walnuts are one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid – the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for optimum health,” said Kitva Butrum, Ph.D., Senior Science Advisor at the American institute for Cancer Research.
“…eating walnuts is like wearing a seatbelt for your heart.”
“I am convinced that if people eat the proper diet, they will have more reduction in their heart risk than just taking a medication,” said Anderson Morris, M.D., F ACC, Medical Director, HealthSouth Heart College.
He added, “Walnuts are a very good source of antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids. That’s why I tell my patients that eating walnuts is like wearing a seat belt for your heart.”