A study following 76,464 female nurses and 42,498 male health professionals since the 1980s and conducted by Dr Ying Bao of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women´s Hospital in Boston has shown that consuming nuts every day reduces heart disease and cancer risk. It also makes you slimmer! (New England Journal of Medicine) People who consumed nuts every day were also 20 per cent less likely to die during the study period than those who never ate nuts. And apparently this finding was linked to frequency and volume.
The benefits were seen from peanuts as well as from pistachios, almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts. The researchers did not look at how the nuts were prepared – oiled or salted, raw or roasted.
“There´s a general perception that if you eat more nuts you´re going to get fat. Our results show the opposite,” said Dr Ying Bao.
Researchers don´t know why nuts may boost health saying it could be that their unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and other nutrients lower cholesterol and inflammation.
Dr Ralph Sacco, a University of Miami neurologist who also is a former heart association president, added “Sometimes when you eat nuts you eat less of something else like potato chips, so the benefit may also come from avoiding an unhealthy food”.
The Harvard group has long been known for solid science on diets. Its findings build on a major study earlier this year — a rigorous experiment that found a Mediterranean-style diet supplemented with nuts cuts the chance of heart-related problems, especially strokes, in older people at high risk of them.
A number of previous studies tie nut consumption to lower risks of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer and other maladies.