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Eating Nuts Promotes Cardiovascular Health, Says Harvard Menís Health Watch


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BOSTON, May 11 -- Researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health have examined the effect of eating nuts on cardiovascular health, reports the Harvard Menís Health Watch. ďTheir work shows that nuts really are healthy, especially for men at risk for heart disease,Ē says Dr. Harvey B. Simon, editor.

Studies show that healthy men, and those who have already suffered a heart attack, can reduce cardiovascular risk by eating nuts regularly, reports the Harvard Menís Health Watch. Doctors theorize that

-- nuts may help lower cholesterol, partly by replacing less healthy foods in the diet;

-- nuts contain mono- and polyunsaturated fats known to benefit the heart;

-- the omega-3 fats found in walnuts may protect against irregular heart rhythms;

-- nuts are rich in arginine, a substance that may improve blood vessel function;

-- other nutrients in nuts (such as fiber and vitamin E) may also help lower cardiovascular risk.

Nuts are nutritional powerhouses, but high in calories. The Harvard Menís Health Watch cautions that if you add nuts to your diet, youíll want to cut back on something else. Substitute nuts for chips or cookies, and avoid nuts that are fried in oil or loaded with salt. As little as two ounces of nuts a week appears to help lower heart disease risk. Healthful choices include: almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, filberts, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts.

By themselves, nuts seem to produce modest declines in cholesterol, but when they are combined with other healthful foods, the results can be spectacular. ďNuts may not be the key to cardiovascular health, but adding nuts to a balanced, healthful diet can take you one step away from heart disease,Ē says Dr. Simon.

Also in this issue:

-- When Viagra wonít do: Other options for treating erectile dysfunction

-- New screening guidelines for abdominal aortic aneurysm

The Harvard Menís Health Watch is available from Harvard Health Publications, the publishing division of Harvard Medical School, for $24 per year. Subscribe at http://www.health.harvard.edu/men or by calling 1-877-649-9457 (toll free).

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EDITORíS NOTE: Contact Christine Junge at Christine_Junge@hms.harvard.edu for a complimentary copy of the newsletter, or to receive Harvard Health Publicationsí press releases directly.



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