Benefits Of Eating Nuts: Less Cancer and Heart Disease
By Dr. James Palermo // November 24, 2013
PEOPLE WHO EAT NUTS REGULARLY LIVE LONGER
ABOVE VIDEO: GeoBeatsNews reports on a study from researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, working with Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health, that found that eating an ounce of nuts a day might help people live longer lives and prevent weight gain.
Those mixed nuts, almonds, pistacchios and cashews we love at holiday time, and even those peanuts at the ballpark may well be a formula for increased longevity.
According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who regularly eat nuts live longer and have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer.
NUTS PLAY A BENEFICIAL ROLE IN REDUCING HEART DISEASE
Previous research has shown that the high concentration of nutrients and unsaturated fatty acids in nuts have beneficial effects related to coronary heart disease and certain risk factors for heart disease.
In 2003, the FDA recommended that U.S. residents consume 1.5 ounces of nuts daily as part of a low-fat diet that “may reduce the risk of heart disease”
For this recent study, which is the largest to date to look at nut consumption and mortality, researchers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed data on nearly 120,000 people over a period of 30 years, and found that the more regularly people consumed nuts, the less likely they were to die during the study.
NUTS ONCE A DAY REDUCED DEATH RISK BY 20%
The study compared people who never ate nuts to those who ate nuts and found:
• Eating a handful of nuts once a week reduced a person’s risk of death by 11 percent
• Eating up to four portions of nuts a week reduced risk of death by 13 percent
• Eating nuts once a day reduced risk of death by 20 percent
Researchers also found that people who ate nuts at least five times a week had a 29 percent reduced risk of dying of heart disease compared to those who avoided nuts, a 24 percent reduced risk of dying from respiratory conditions, and an 11 percent reduced risk of dying of cancer, than those who avoided nuts.
NUT EATERS TEND TO LIVE HEALTHIER
The researchers had to take into account the fact that nut eaters tended to live a healthier lifestyle related to smoking, exercising, diet and drinking alcohol. However, even when taking those factors into consideration they found that the nuts themselves were contributing to study participants’ longer lifespan and reduced mortality risk.
The study also suggests that people who eat a lot of nuts are less likely to put on weight
Lead researcher Dr. Charles Fuchs told Reuters Health that it’s possible that people who like nuts tend to have a thinner body type. “But even after adjusting for lifestyle choices, we definitely see that people who eat nuts tend to be thinner and are less likely to be obese, Fuchs said.”
EAT AN OUNCE OF NUTS EACH DAY
Based on his research team’s findings, which reinforces previous research, Dr. Fuchs recommends that people eat an ounce of nuts each day, although smaller amounts still seem to make a positive difference.
So, don’t hesitate to dig into those nut bowls at holiday gatherings this season, but remember the other ingredients of a macadamia nut sugar cookie with sprinkles may zero out the benefit of the nuts.