It’s healthy to go nuts

People who eat at least 20 grams of nuts a day – equivalent to a small handful – have a lower risk of heart disease, cancer and other diseases, according to an analysis of a large body of research.

In fact, eating nuts can cut people’s risk of coronary heart disease by nearly 30 percent, the risk of cancer by 15 percent and the risk of premature death by 22 percent.

“…There is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.” – Dagfinn Aune

An average of at least 20 grams of nut consumption was also associated with a reduced risk of dying from respiratory disease by about a half, and diabetes by nearly 40 percent.

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Nutty benefits

“Nuts and peanuts are high in fibre, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats – nutrients that are beneficial for cutting cardiovascular disease risk and which can reduce cholesterol levels,” said co-author Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health at Imperial.

“Some nuts, particularly walnuts and pecan nuts are also high in antioxidants, which can fight oxidative stress and possibly reduce cancer risk. Even though nuts are quite high in fat, they are also high in fibre and protein, and there is some evidence that suggests nuts might actually reduce your risk of obesity over time.”

The research team analysed 29 published studies from around the world that involved up to 819 000 participants and included all kinds of tree nuts, such as hazel nuts and walnuts, and also peanuts – which are actually legumes.

Source: Imperial College London

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