Comparison between walnut and fatty fish

Comparison between walnut and fatty fish

            Walnuts and fatty fish are food items that have been established to carry high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are considered as beneficial compounds to the human body.  It has been reported that consumption of nuts was strongly associated with a decrease in the incidence of cardiovascular diseases (Hu et al., 1998).  This specific result is mainly influence by the decrease in the concentration of low-density lipoproteins in the blood, which in turn is substituted by the fatty acids that are contained in nuts (Strahan, 2004).  This significant decrease influences the development of cardiovascular diseases, which are generally derived through the accumulation of fat molecules in the blood.  Nuts have also been determined to be composed of other essential components, including fiber, as well as essential vitamins.  The major component in nuts that is mainly influential in the decrease of levels of plasma lipids are the polyphenolic compounds (Hu, 2003).  The results of ingestion of walnuts are very quick, wherein the amount of plasma polyphenols increased after only 1 hour after ingestion of nuts (Torabian et al., 2009).  Moreoever, capacity of antioxidation was observed to be at its greatest concentration at approximately 150 minutes after consumption of nuts.  The concentration of lipids in the plasma was also significantly lowered after 90 minutes of ingestion of a meal that contained walnuts.

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On another vein, fatty fish meats are reported to be composed of omega-3 fatty acids, which are structurally composed of chains of carbon atoms which are helpful to the body (Chan and Cho, 2009).  Research investigations have increased for a number of years, providing descriptions of the beneficial effects of fatty fish meats on the cardiovascular condition of human subjects.  One of the most investigated fatty acids in teleosts is linolenic acid, which can be derived from walnuts (Eritsland et al., 1995).  Linolenic acid was described to lower the concentration of triglycerides in the blood by half its magnitude (Jacobson, 2006).  Moreover, the lowering of the concentration of triglycerides was observed to be more effective if the individual were observed with a baseline concentration that was initially elevated (Balk et al., 2006).  It has been computed that when approximately 1 gram of fish oil was administered daily, this may reflect a lowering in the triglyceride level by approximately 8 milligrams per deciliter.  In addition, individuals with elevated baseline levels of triglycerides may develop a lowering in triglyceride concentrations by approximately 27 milligrams per deciliter.

The recommendation of including fish meats at least two meals per week have thus been campaigned for, yet it is imperative to comprehend that not all species of fishes contain the equivalent amount of linolenic acid.  For example, the codfish and the catfish are only composed of a small amount of linolenic acid.  On another vein, salmon meat contains 500% more linolenic acid than most fish species.  It is thus important to recognize which fish types may deliver significant amounts of these fatty acids for cardiovascular protection, as well as antioxidation benefits.  Based on these reports, it is therefore imperative to understand the walnuts and fatty fish can result in a healthy condition for the body.  In a recent article of Rajaram et al. (2009), walnuts and fatty fish, were investigated in terms of the lipid concentrations in the serum samples of human subjects.  These individuals showed either normal or high levels of cholesterol.  The random case-control study was performing using 25 adults who were administered one of three types of isoenergetic diets for an entire month.  An isoenergetic diet is composed of 30% fat and 10% saturated fatty acids.  The control isoenergetic diet was not composed of any nuts or fish, while the other diet was comprised of a measured amount of walnuts that generated 10.1 mJ.  A third isoenergetic region was composed of approximately 113 grams of fish, administered twice a week.  The fasting serum lipid levels of the participants were collected before and right after the experimental period.  The clinical study showed that the subjects who were given the walnut diet presented significantly lower cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein levels than those given the control or the fish diet.  The lipid levels of subjects given the fish diet was, on the other hand, lower than that of the control subjects.           The antioxidant capacity of walnuts and fatty fish has been determined by several investigators and a positive correlation has been observed between the amount of walnuts and fatty fish eaten and the plasma levels of lipoproteins.  However, comparative analysis has reported that walnuts have a more significant effect in decreasing the level of low-density lipoproteins than fatty fish.


Anderson, K.J., Teuber, S.S., Gobeille, A., Cremin, P., Waterhouse, A.L. and Steinberg, F.M.  (2001).  Walnut polyphenolics inhibit in vitro human plasma and LDL oxidation.  Journal of Nutrition, 131,2837–2842.

Arranz, S., Pe´rez-Jime´nez, J. and Saura-Calixto, F.  (2008).  Antioxidant capacity of walnut (Juglans regia L.): Contribution of oil and defatted matter.  Europeran Food Research and Technology, 227,425–431.

Balk, E.M., Lichtenstein, A.H., Chung, M., Kupelnick, B., Chew, P. and Lau, J.  (2006).  Effects of omega-3 fatty acids on serum markers of cardiovascular disease risk: A systematic review.  Atherosclerosis, 189,19–30.

Chan, E.J. and Cho, L.  (2009).  What can we expect from omega-3 fatty acids?  Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine, 76, 245-251.

Eritsland, J., Arnesen, H., Seljeflot, I. and Kierulf, P.  (1995).  Long-term effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on haemostatic variables and bleeding episodes in patients with coronary artery disease.  Blood, Coagulation and Fibrinolysis, 6:17–22.

Hu, F.B. (2003).  Plant-based foods and prevention of cardiovascular disease: An overview.  Americal Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 78,544–551.

Hu, F.B., Stampfer, M.J., Manson, J.E., Rimm, E.B., Colditz, G.A. and Rosner, B.A.  (1998).  Frequent nut consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in women: Prospective cohort study.  British Medical Journal, 317,1341–1345.

Jacobson, T.A.  (2006).  Secondary prevention of coronary artery disease with omega-3 fatty acids.  American Journal of Cardiology, 98,61–70.

Lehucher-Michel, M.P., Lesgards, J.F., Delubac, O., Stocker, P., Durand, P. and Prost, M.  (2001).  Oxidant stress and human disease: Current knowledge and perspectives for prevention.  Press Medicine, 30,1017–1023.

Lesgards, J.F., Durand, P., Lassarre, M., Stocker, P., Lesgards, G., Lanteaume, A., Prost, M. and Lehucher-Michel, M.P.  (2002).  Assessment of lifestyle effects on the overall antioxidant capacity of healthy subjects.  Environmental Health Perspectives, 110,479–487.

Niki, E.  (2001).  Free radicals in the 1900’s: From in vitro to in vivo.  Free Radical Research, 33:693–704..

Rajaram, S., Haddad, E.H., Mejia, A. and Sabaté, J.  (2009).  Walnuts and fatty fish influence different serum lipid fractions in normal to mildly hyperlipidemic individuals: a randomized controlled study.  American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, PMID: 19339404.

Strahan, T.M.  (2004).  Nuts for cardiovascular protection.  Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 13, 33-37.

Tapsell, L.C., Gillen, L.J., Patch, C.S., Batterham, M., Owen, A., Bar’e, M. and Kennedy, M.  (2004).  Including walnuts in a low-fat/modified-fat diet improves HDL cholesterol–to–total cholesterol ratios in patients with type 2 diabetes.  Diabetes Care, 27,2777–2783.

Torabian, S., Haddad, E., Rajaram, S., Banta, J. and Sabate, J.  (2009).  Acute effect of nut consumption on plasma total polyphenols, antioxidant capacity and lipid peroxidation.  Human Nutrition and Diet, 22, 64–71.


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