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HindustanTimes Wed,24 Sep 2014

Pistachios to the rescue! Eat the wonder nuts for health

IANS  New York, August 06, 2014
First Published: 15:26 IST(6/8/2014) | Last Updated: 17:06 IST(6/8/2014)

Love pistachios? You have another reason to have these tree nuts if your sugar levels are high as eating pistachios may reduce vascular response to stress in type 2 diabetes.

"In adults with diabetes, two servings of pistachios per day lowered vascular constriction during stress and improved neural control of the heart," said Sheila G. West, a professor of biobehavioral health and nutritional sciences at Pennsylvania State University.

Although nuts are high in fat, they contain good fats, fibre, potassium and antioxidants.

"Given the high risk of heart disease in people with diabetes, nuts are an important component of a heart healthy diet in this population," West added.

Also read: Pistachios every day, could help keep diabetes at bay

During the investigation on patients with type 2 diabetes about the effects of pistachios, researchers randomised patients to one of two test diets.

Test diets included a standard heart-healthy diet - 27 percent fat and seven percent saturated fat - and a diet containing two servings per day of pistachios - about 3 ounces or 20 percent of calories from pistachio nuts.

The typical research participant consumed about 150 pistachio nuts per day.

The pistachio diet contained 33 percent fat and 7 percent saturated fat.

After the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests," West said.

Also read: Eat pistachios for a healthy heart

They found that systolic blood pressure during sleep was particularly affected by pistachios.

"Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about four points and this would be expected to lower workload on the heart," West noted.

The researchers also recorded improvements in heart rate variability, a measure of how well the nervous system controls heart function.

The results appeared in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


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