Baseball season is in full-swing, which also means game-time snacking in the stands. A new study suggests that you might want to reach for peanuts instead of the hot dog.
People who eat mostly nuts and seeds instead of meat as their main source of protein have a lower risk of heart disease, according to a study published on April 3 by researchers at Loma Linda University in California and ArgoParis Tech in France.
The researchers studied the eating habits of 81,337 Seventh-day Adventists and followed their health for nine years. They found that eating mostly red meat increases heart disease risk by 60 percent, while eating mostly nuts and seeds caused a 40 percent drop in heart disease risk.
Why Are Nuts Good For Us?
Doctors have known for some time that the healthy fats, or Omega-3 fats, in nuts are good for heart and joint health. This study suggests that the type of protein found in nuts may cause a biological effect in the body that benefits heart health.
“This research provides further evidence that a plant-based diet, including a small amount of a variety of nuts, is beneficial for your heart health,” said Michael Chen, MD, an interventional cardiologist at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.
“While nuts and seeds are heart-healthy, it’s important to limit each serving to ¼-cup because they are also high in calories and fat, adds Dr. Chen. “They are just one small part of a heart-healthy diet.”
Heart-Healthy Diet Tips
Other tips for a heart healthy diet include:
- Fill at least half of your plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables
- Eat a small mount of whole grains like whole wheat, barley, quinoa and brown rice
- Limit food with more than 140 mg of sodium (or salt) per serving
- Avoid food and drinks with added sugar like soda, juice and sugary packaged snacks
So score a home-run for your heart health by grabbing some peanuts at the next baseball game you watch!