Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

More biased research on the wonders of walnuts

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The California Walnut Board’s been busy lately. The latest study funded by them, to be published in the June issue of The Journal of Nutrition, found that consumption of whole walnuts and walnut oil had a positive effect on blood vessel function following a meal as well as improving the effectiveness of HDL (the “good” cholesterol). This is all lovely but I have a few questions.

I wonder how walnuts and walnut oil fare in comparison to other nuts and oils. I also wonder if there are any long-term implications for these findings. A short-term effect of consumption of a food, both positive and negative, means little in the big picture. Sure, it may very well be true that consumption of walnuts improves cardiovascular health but such a small study (only 15 participants) over such a short period of time: 30 minutes, one hour, two hours, four hours and six hours after administration of treatments really doesn’t tell us much about the impact of walnut consumption on long-term health.

I complain about unscientific practices a lot but science like this is just as bad. Give me a large, long-term, double-blind, study with unbiased researchers and then we can talk about the miracles of walnuts.

Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people see food and nutrition from a different perspective and understand that nutrition and health are not necessarily a result of personal choice.

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