SOURCE: California Raisin Marketing Board

California Raisin Marketing Board

February 23, 2009 11:00 ET

Raisins and Walking -- Smart Steps for Heart Health

New Research Confirms Cholesterol-Lowering Benefits of Simple Lifestyle Changes

FRESNO, CA--(Marketwire - February 23, 2009) - According to recently published research in the journal Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental, eating raisins and walking may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in 50 to 70 year-old men and postmenopausal women. Researchers at the University of Connecticut found that walking and daily consumption of raisins (1 cup) decreased low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, so-called "bad cholesterol," levels in the blood stream.

"Our research indicates that easily implemented lifestyle changes such as increasing raisin consumption or walking additional steps each day may help decrease risk for heart disease by increasing the clearance of LDL cholesterol from the blood stream," explained Maria Luz Fernandez, Ph.D., Professor for the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Connecticut and researcher for this study. The research was funded by the California Raisin Marketing Board.

These new findings add to the researchers' previously published data in Lipids in Health and Disease, which determined that in addition to lowering LDL cholesterol levels, raisin consumption and walking reduced markers of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.

Both the American Heart Association and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emphasize the role of fruit and vegetable consumption in supporting heart health. The Produce for Better Health Foundation notes that 90 percent of Americans fail to consume the daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. Both fat- and cholesterol-free, raisins deliver important heart health components, such as fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Just 1/4-cup of raisins counts as a serving of fruit for adults.

"This study builds upon previous research demonstrating raisins' cholesterol-lowering and heart health benefits due to their fiber and antioxidant content. California Raisins are one of the most economical, convenient and versatile fruit choices consumers can make," Dr. Julie Miller Jones, Ph.D., L.N., C.N.S., national scientific advisor to the California Raisin Marketing Board.

Puglisi, et al. Raisins and walking alter appetite hormones and plasma lipids by modifications in lipoprotein metabolism and up-regulation of the low density lipoprotein receptor. Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental. 2009; 58:120-128.

Editor's note: Please contact Shelly Kessen at 916-492-5308 or for the complete Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental article.

Contact Information

    Shelly Kessen
    Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.
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