An Evaluation of Health Effects and Nutrient Content of Pistachios and Other Tree Nuts
Ahmad Shakerardekani (PhD)1*, Hamideh Amini Babak (MSc)2,3
1 Pistachio Research Center, Horticultural Sciences Research Institute, Agricultural Research, Education and Extension Organization (AREEO), Rafsanjan, Iran
2 Master of Science in Food Science & Technology, Department of Agriculture Kar Higher Education Institute, Rafsanjan, Iran
3 Pistachio Safety Reserarch Center, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran
Received:15.12.2020 Accepted: 09.02.2021
Introduction: Since tree nuts can be substantial part of low-fat high-fiber diets, they can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancers. Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are among leading causes of death in the country.
Methods: The present study was conducted in Rafsanjan County. The participants' age ranged from 41 to 89. Besides, their mean age was 63, and their gender was almost evenly distributed. The body mass index (BMI) averaged 30 in the participants. Answers to the questionnaires were calculated in terms of percentage on a 5-point scale. In addition, statistical software SPSS V18.0 was used for data analysis.
Results: From among all 85 participants, 83.6% had previously experienced at least one case of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, angina, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes. Accordingly, the rates of the heart attack, angina, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes were 27.1, 11.8, 15.3, 61.2, 56.5, and 34.1%, respectively. Almost 33% of the respondents believed consumption of tree nuts would increase their weight. Approximately, 44% of the participants believed there was too much salt in tree nuts. About 42% of the respondents were aware of the beneficial effects of tree nuts and peanuts on diabetes. The majority of the respondents (51.8%) were unaware that daily consumption of tree nuts would lower the cholesterol level and prevent heart disease. On average, 61% of the participants gave wrong answers to scientific questions about the amount of nutrients in tree nuts and peanuts. More than 50% of the participants claimed they were on a healthy diet (56.5%). However, only 35.5% of them consumed tree nuts one to two times a week. The participants mostly consumed salted (55.3%) or roasted (74.1%) tree nuts.
Conclusion: In general, the public does not have deep knowledge of tree nuts, their health benefits, and nutrients. According to the results of the present study, informing people over the age of 40 may reduce incidence of CVD or diabetes and the resulting mortality rate among them.
►Please cite this article as follows:
Shakerardekani A, Amini Babak H. An Evaluation of Health Effects and Nutrient Content of Pistachios and Other Tree Nuts. Pistachio and Health Journal. 2021; 4 (1): 51-65.