#097 The Best 4 Nuts to Prevent Heart Disease

April 26th, 2015 by

The Best 4 Nuts to Prevent Heart Disease

In this podcast, Drs John Day and Jared Bunch discuss the best four nuts to prevent heart disease.  Below you will find the topics Drs Day and Bunch discuss.  Here is a link to the original article in Everyday Health which was written by Dr. Bunch.

How to Listen to this Podcast

To listen to this podcast you can click on the “play icon” below the photo above or you can listen to it through iTunes or Stitcher Radio.  Even better would be to subscribe to this podcast on iTunes or Stitcher Radio so that you never miss an episode.


In countless studies, most nuts appear to be very heart healthy.  Nuts are also an important component of the Mediterranean Diet which has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease by 30%.

Which Nuts Should You Choose?

Based on the available research, there does not seem to be a significant health difference as to whether you like your nuts raw, in a nut butter, or roasted.  However, if you do suffer from high blood pressure or have water retention issues, you may want to select a non-salted form.  Below are the 4 nuts discussed in this podcast.

1. Almonds

Almonds seem to be at the top of everyone’s heart healthy nut list.  Like other nuts, almonds have been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol), help in the treatment of diabetes, reduce inflammation, and may also help with weight loss.  Almonds, when eaten in moderation, are always an excellent heart healthy nut choice.

2. Pistachios

Similar to almonds, pistachios also help to lower LDL cholesterol and help with the treatment of diabetes.  Pistachios seems to have a unique benefit in lowering stress induced high blood pressure.  If you are under a lot of stress or are suffering from high blood pressure, pistachios could be an excellent nut option for you.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are uniquely positioned to help reverse heart disease or plaque build up within the arteries of the heart.  Walnuts also have ALA, which is a plant-based form of the omega 3 fatty acids.  If you have had a blockage within the arteries of your heart, a prior heart attack, or stent placement, walnuts might be the right nut for you.

4. Peanuts

While technically not a nut, but rather a legume, peanuts have not enjoyed the same heart healthy halo effect as almonds.  Despite the poor public image of peanuts, studies show that peanuts can be just as healthy for the heart as other nuts.

Besides the risk of food allergies with any nuts, peanuts have an additional risk of aflatoxin.  This mold can cause liver disease or even cancer.  This risk seems to be very manageable provided you are eating a moderate amount of peanuts from a reputable source.

Are These Really the 4 Best Nuts to Prevent Heart Disease?

The simple answer is “no.”  Nuts, in general, are all very effective at helping to prevent heart disease.  So if you are a pecan, macadamia, or Brazil nut lover don’t despair.  You can continue to enjoy the nuts you love most!

Are nuts a part of your heart healthy diet?  Which nuts are your favorites and why?