Help Ward Off Heart Disease With This Popular Sandwich Spread – Health Digest

A handful of peanuts is one thing, but is a spoonful of peanut butter just as effective in protecting against heart disease? In a 2009 longitudinal study published in The Journal of Nutrition, researchers examined whether nut and peanut butter consumption influenced cardiovascular disease risk in over 6,000 women diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The researchers defined a single serving size of nuts as 1 ounce, and a single serving of peanut butter as 1 tablespoon. The study findings showed that women who ate five or more servings of nuts or peanut butter each week were at a 44% lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared to women who rarely ate nuts or peanut butter.

Among the many different compounds in peanut butter that may contribute to this relationship, the sandwich spread’s omega-6 fatty acid content may be one of them, explains WebMD. While some experts caution that consuming greater amounts of omega-6 than omega-3 could increase the risk of blood clots, inflammation, and more, numerous studies have shown omega-6 fatty acids to support cardiovascular health. “Omega-6 fats are not only safe but they are also beneficial for the heart and circulation,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told Harvard Health Publishing.

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