Why nuts may be good for your heart

Research we're watching

Published: April, 2021

Eating nuts even just a couple of times a week is linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease, a new study suggests.

The study included 39,000 women who filled out dietary questionnaires at the start of the study and again about 10 years later. During the follow-up, which lasted an average of 19 years, nearly 1,000 of the women died of cardiovascular disease.

To crack the potential effects of nuts, researchers accounted for body mass index, physical activity, smoking habits, and other factors that influence heart disease risk. Women who ate a serving of nuts (about a quarter-cup) at least twice a week had a 27% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared with women who didn't eat nuts.

Improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels seen among the nut eaters may account for part of this benefit, according to the researchers. Their findings appeared in the February 2021 Journal of Clinical Lipidology.

Image: © Jaykayl/Getty Images

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.