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Heart disease

Study Shows Peanut Protein Reduces Risk of Heart Disease

Thursday, November 27, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: heart disease, health news, Natural News


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(NaturalNews) It's not just peanut oil that is healthy for your heart, but peanut protein as well, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and presented at the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists 2008 in New Orleans.

"We now have shown that there are components beyond the healthy fat in peanuts that are having strong health benefits," researcher Tim Sanders said. "The protein and other functional components in peanuts, which are in the peanut flour, also improve heart disease risk factors."

Researchers fed groups of 20 male hamsters one of four different high-fat, high-cholesterol diets, all of which contained approximately equal percentages of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Three of the four diets replaced equivalent components of the control diet with peanut oil, fat-free peanut flour or peanuts without the skins.

After six months, the hamsters fed any of the three peanut diets had significantly lower levels of total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol than those fed the control diet. Levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol remained steady in the peanut groups, rather than decreasing as might be expected on a high-fat diet.

Prior research has demonstrated that eating as little as one serving of peanuts or peanut butter per day can decrease the risk of heart disease by 50 percent and the risk of diabetes by 25 percent, but the bulk of this health effect has previously been attributed to the peanut's fat and oils. The current study is the first to demonstrate a cardiovascular benefit to eating peanuts and even without the fat.

Peanuts account for more than two-thirds of U.S. nut consumption. They contain significant levels of a wide variety of nutrients including minerals, fiber, folate, arginine, vitamin E, niacin, antioxidants, proteins, fats, and other bioactive compounds.

Sources for this story include: www.upi.com; www.freshplaza.com.

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