Posts tagged with "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"

Study: Eating peanuts daily may reverse metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects 23% of adults

December 3, 2020

The Peanut Institute is sharing the results of recent research, which found that eating two ounces of lightly salted peanuts daily for 12 weeks may help reverse a medical condition known as metabolic syndrome.

The study—conducted by scientists from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Shanghai Institute of Nutrition and Health, and published in the current online issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutritionestablished that those who ate peanuts had a two times higher likelihood of reversing their metabolic syndrome than those in a control group

The study is a first-of-its-kind to look at the effects of peanut consumption on a medical classification that, according to the American Heart Association, affects approximately 23% of adults.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke and diseases related to fatty buildups in artery walls. Those with metabolic syndrome are five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and two times more likely to develop cardiovascular disease within 10 years as someone without it. Some of the characteristics of metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abdominal obesity and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. 

The 12-week dietary intervention study was conducted October 2017 through January 2018 with 224 participants who either had metabolic syndrome or were at risk for it.

“This study is unique because it added just one new element to participants’ diets with the introduction of two servings of peanuts each day,” says Dr. Samara Sterling, director of research for The Peanut Institute. “The research showed the impact of nutrient-dense peanuts and how they positively affected participants’ health outcomes.”

The study also found that eating two servings of peanuts daily for 12 weeks did not cause participants to gain weight. 

“It’s exciting research because it supports the approach that food can be thought of as medicine in the fight against chronic diseases,” says Sterling. “Peanuts are packed with nutrients and are able to deliver health benefits in a small and affordable serving.”

Two servings, or approximately 70 peanuts, cost less than 30ȼ, are about 170 calories— and contain 14 grams of plant protein, plus 19 vitamins and minerals.

Peanuts also have antioxidants, polyphenols, and phytosterols—plant substances that have been shown to help reduce cardiovascular disease and cancer risk, lower inflammation and cholesterol, and improve blood flow. In addition, the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in peanuts, like those in olive oil and avocados, help decrease “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol.

Research contact: @PeanutInstitute 

Who knew? Steak and chicken affect blood cholesterol equally

June 6, 2019

Many people who are health-conscious limit the amount of red meat they consume, preferring to have white meat, because they believe it is lower in cholesterol.

Wrong. Contrary to popular belief, beef and turkey have the same effect on cholesterol levels, when saturated fat levels are equivalent, base on findings of a study published on June 4 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, News-Medical.net reports.

The study, led by scientists at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI)– the research arm of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland—surprised the researchers with the discovery that consuming high levels of red meat or white poultry resulted in higher blood cholesterol levels than consuming a comparable amount of plant proteins. Moreover, this effect was observed whether or not the diet contained high levels of saturated fat, which increased blood cholesterol to the same extent with all three protein sources.

Indeed, the lead author of the study, Ronald Krauss, M.D., senior scientist and director of Atherosclerosis Research at CHORI, commented, “When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case: Their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent.”

Krauss, who also is a UCSF professor of Medicine, noted that the meats studied did not include grass-fed beef or processed products such as bacon or sausage; nor did it include fish.

But the results were notable, as they indicated that restricting meat altogether, whether red or white, is more advisable for lowering blood cholesterol levels than previously thought.

No surprise: The study found that plant proteins, such as beans, are the healthiest for blood cholesterol.

This study, dubbed the APPROACH (Animal and Plant Protein and Cardiovascular Health) trial, also found that consuming high amounts of saturated fat increased concentrations of large cholesterol-enriched LDL particles, which have a weaker connection to cardiovascular disease than smaller LDL particles.

Similarly, red and white meat increased amounts of large LDL in comparison to nonmeat diets. Therefore, using standard LDL cholesterol levels as the measure of cardiovascular risk may lead to overestimating that risk for both higher meat and saturated fat intakes, as standard LDL cholesterol tests may primarily reflect levels of larger LDL particles.

“Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol,” Krauss said. “Indeed, other effects of red meat consumption could contribute to heart disease, and these effects should be explored in more detail in an effort to improve health.”

Research contact: rkrauss@chori.org