A guy goes into the bar and orders a drink. Other than the bartender, there’s no one else in the place. Suddenly he hears a voice that says, “Nice suit.” Later, the same voice says, “Nice tie.” He finally asks the bartender if he just said something.

“No,” replies the bartender, “It was probably the peanuts. They’re complimentary.”

Medical News Today reports on 2 studies about nuts from Penn State University.

In one study, researchers reported that pistachio-containing diets changed the increase in blood pressure that usually accompanies stress. Diets containing 1.5 or 3 ounces of pistachio reduced systolic blood pressure by 4.8 and 2.4 millimeters of mercury, respectively.

The lesser response to the higher nut dose might be due to an increase in heart rate, which is compensating for the nutty effect. Either way, it’s positive.

The effect of macadamia nuts on cholesterol was measured in the second study. The participants had slightly elevated cholesterol levels, normal blood pressure, and were not taking lipid-lowering drugs. One group ate a small handful of nuts in addition to a “heart healthy” diet, while the other group ate a typical American diet — what ever that is.

The Healthy Heart diet with macadamia nuts reduced total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels compared with the standard American diet.

“We observed a reduction in LDL similar to that seen with other tree nuts like walnuts and almonds,” said the authors.

The bottom line?
Nutrition Australia says, “Simply adding nuts to your existing diet is not appropriate. If you do not already eat nuts, but you decide to include them in your diet, this should be at the expense of other, less nutritious foods.”

It’s worth reading.

5/5/07 09:34 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.