Study finds peanuts are good for the heart

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When you sip that glass of red wine, don't forget to grab a handful of peanuts. Those, too, are healthy for the heart, according to a new study by scientists at the United States Department of Agriculture. Peanuts, although high in fat, contain the heart-friendly compound resveratrol.

"Frequent consumption of peanuts and or nuts result in reduced cardiovascular disease and lowered total cholesterol," said Dr. Timothy Sanders, a researcher for the USDA's research centre in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dr Sanders, whose research was funded by the Peanut Institute of Albany, Georgia. Research on red wine has associated resveratrol with what's commonly called the "French paradox" - that is, despite a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, the French population has a surprisingly low rate of heart disease.

Dr Sanders isn't sure just how many peanuts one would have to eat to make a difference. The average concentration of resveratrol in red wine is 160 micrograms per fluid ounce. Sanders said the peanut seeds contain about 73 micrograms per ounce.

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