Are walnuts good for your brain? Are walnuts good for heart patients? Are walnuts healthy?
Most people seem to believe walnuts health benefits are well established. Supposedly, walnuts are good for brain function, heart health, blood profile, inflammation, and have various health benefits. But, is that really so?
The following article is based on a transcript of a video called “Are Walnuts Health Claims Exaggerated?” Watch the complete video to access any visual materials.
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What does the science say about walnuts health benefits?
Researchers who conducted a comprehensive review (of multiple studies done on walnuts), state that it’s hard to come to a clear conclusion due to the difficulty of comparing and aligning the different studies. The researchers state that walnuts benefits for brain function may have some evidence to it but they’re careful in making bold claims.
The big dilemma in science: conflict of interest
Fair enough, that’s a conclusion any reputable scientists would come to. However, there’s a slight problem here. This study was funded by the California Walnut Commission. This means that the claim that walnuts could potentially offer health benefits might be exaggerated. Why?
Research studies funded by industries that have a vested interest in the outcomes tend to frequently produce favorable results. When it comes to whole food nutrition, this tendency is particularly noticeable in studies conducted on dairy, meat, coconut, avocado, and nuts.
Industries such as big salt, big sugar, and other big companies that produce soft drinks and junk food, usually fare worse and sometimes even outright lie. Although that may not be the case in our study, it does highlight the need for increased scrutiny and selectivity when evaluating such studies.
To show this issue in walnut research, we can simply take a closer look at some of the major studies and reviews conducted over the years, revealing the conflicts of interest involved.
A great number of studies and reviews have been funded by the walnut industry: watch the video for relevant visuals.
So, what does this ultimately mean? Are walnuts healthy or are they possibly overrated? Can we still regard walnuts as brain food? Do they genuinely provide any benefits? We delve into these questions by examining studies that are not funded by the industry. In our next article, The True Health Facts of Walnuts: Unraveling the Evidence.