- English walnuts are low in saturated fat and high in both polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fat.
- Walnuts are an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, particularly when bought in their shells and eaten while fresh. The 1.5 ounces of walnuts cited by the FDA also more than fulfill the daily requirement of essential omega-3 fatty acids, a critical nutrient deficient in the American diet. Among tree nuts, walnuts are distinctive because of their concentration of omega-3 fatty acids.
- English walnuts contain no cholesterol and are an important source of dietary fiber and protein. They are also a good source of many vitamins and minerals including potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, vitamin B1, B6, folate, and vitamin E.
- Research has found that eating regular amounts of walnuts reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood.
- With a 7:1 ratio of polyunsaturated to saturated fat, English walnuts are one of the highest naturally occurring sources of polyunsaturated fats.
- Polyunsaturated fats are an important source of essential fatty acids (EFAs) which we must get from the food we eat. English walnuts are a rich plant source of alpha-linolenic acid, a key EFA from which omega-3 fatty acids are derived.
- Eating a handful of walnuts a day can lower blood cholesterol. The results of a study conducted at Loma Linda University and reported in 1993 in the New England Journal of Medicine determined that walnuts were beneficial in reducing blood cholesterol levels and protecting against heart disease. Researchers at Loma Linda found that when men with normal cholesterol values were given walnuts instead of foods high in saturated fat and, when calorie levels were held constant, their blood cholesterol levels dropped by more than 12% and their LDL, or bad cholesterol, lowered by more than 16%.
- English walnuts are a natural source of phytochemicals and antioxidants which protect cells from free radical damage that could result in cancers or heart disease.