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Nuts, seed proteins more heart healthy than meat

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — People consuming nuts and seeds have a lower risk of heart disease than those mostly eating meat, according to a study conducted in the United States and France.

Researchers from Loma Linda University School in California, and AgroParisTech and the Institute of National Agronomic Research in Paris, have found that meat protein is associated with a sharp increased risk of heart disease while protein from nuts and seeds is beneficial for the human heart.

Red meat increases heart disease risk by 60 percent while food proteins — nuts and seeds — cause a 40 percent reduction to risk, the findings published this week in the International Journal of Epidemiology said.

“While dietary fats are part of the story in affecting risk of cardiovascular disease, proteins may also have important and largely overlooked independent effects on risk,” said Dr. Gary Fraser, from Loma Linda’s School of Public Health in a press release.

“This new evidence suggests that the full picture probably also involves the biological effects of proteins in these foods.”

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The study examined 81,337 Seventh-day Adventists, a group that is about evenly split between vegetarians and meat-eaters, from 2002 to 2007. The men and women, between age 25 and 44, were asked what kinds of food they eat on a regular basis, including the amount of meat, nuts, grains and veggies.

“A wide variety of nuts, eaten in small quantities each day, will lower blood LDL cholesterol — the bad cholesterol,” Fraser told Business Insider. The difference, he said, is 10 to 14 mixed nuts a day.

The researchers during the nine-year followup period, closely examined what the participants ate, as well as details of 2,276 deaths among participants credited to cardiovascular causes.

Fraser said that nutritionists considered ‘bad fats’ in meats and ‘helpful fats’ in nuts and seeds, and said the researchers had always suspected it made a difference what kind of protein people consumed.

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The researchers, however, didn’t just examine the differences between animal and plant proteins, they also looked at other dietary sources, they said. The researchers found no significant associations for grains, processed foods, legumes, fruit and vegetables among protein factors.

“Associations between the ‘meat’ and ‘nuts and seeds’ protein factors and cardiovascular outcomes were strong and could not be ascribed to other associated nutrients considered to be important for cardiovascular health,” the researchers wrote in the study.

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Regular physical activity may reduce heart attack risk even in highly polluted areas

Gorkha Post

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Regular physical activity may reduce the risk of heart attack, even in areas with moderate-to-high levels of traffic pollution, a study has claimed.

Higher levels of pollution were associated with more heart attacks, however, the risk was lower among those who were physically active, the researchers found in the study published in the Journal of the American Heart.

“While exercise is known to reduce cardiovascular disease risk; pollution can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease,” said lead author Nadine Kubesch from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

“Currently there is little data on whether poor air quality cancels out the protective benefits of physical activity in preventing heart attacks,” Kubesch added.

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Researchers in Denmark, Germany and Spain evaluated outdoor physical activity levels (sports, cycling, walking and gardening) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2 pollutant generated by traffic) exposure in 51,868 adults, aged 50-65.

Over a 17.7-year period, there were 2,936 first heart attacks and 324 recurrent heart attacks.

Moderate cycling for four or more hours per week cut risk for recurrent heart attack by 31 per cent; and there was a 58 per cent reduction when all four types of physical activity (together totalling four hours per week or more) were combined, regardless of air quality.

Those who participated in sports had a 15 per cent lower rate of initial heart attacks and there was a 9 per cent risk reduction associated with cycling, regardless of air quality, the researchers said.

Compared to participants with low residential NO2 exposure, those in higher risk areas had a 17 per cent increase risk in first heart attack and 39 per cent for recurrent heart attack, the researchers noted.

With Agency Inputs

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