Eating pistachios every day can reduce the body’s response to stresses of daily life in diabetics. The professor of biobehavioural health and nutritional sciences at Penn State, Sheila G West said that in adults who have diabetes, two servings of pistachios every day can lower vascular constriction at the time of stress and improved neural control of the heart.
She said, “Although nuts are high in fat, they contain good fats, potassium, fibre 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 and her colleagues investigated the effects that eating pistachios has on the responses to standardized stress tasks in patients who have well-controlled type 2 diabetes who were otherwise healthy. To do the study, they use a randomized, crossover study design in which all the meals were provided sufficiently. Each of these diets had the same number of calories. After at least two weeks on the typical American Diet, which contained 36 percent fat and 12 percent saturated fats, the participants were randomized to one of the two test diets.
The test diet comprised a standard heart-healthy diet i.e. one that has 27 per cent fat and 7 per cent saturated fats and a diet containing two servings per day of pistachios i.e. about 3 ounces or 20 per cent of calories from pistachio nuts. A typical research participant ate about 150 pistachios per day.
The pistachio diet contained 33 per cent fat and 7 per cent saturate fat. Half of the nuts that were eaten each day were salted and the rest were unsalted. The researchers measured blood pressure as well as the total peripheral vascular resistance at rest and during two stress tests- a cold water one and a confusing mental arithmetic test at the end of each four-week diet period.
“After the pistachio diet, blood vessels remained more relaxed and open during the stress tests,” West said. Even though laboratory measurement of blood pressure didn’t show any change because of pistachios, the real-world measures of blood pressure did show significant reduction post pistachio diet.
Katherine A Sauder, former graduate student in biobehavioural health, who conducted the measurements, said, “We found that systolic blood pressure during sleep was particularly affected by pistachios. Average sleep blood pressure was reduced by about 4 points and this would be expected to lower workload on the heart”.
Article source: The Hindi
Image source: Getty
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