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Nut-Eaters Live Longer and Weigh Less

An analysis of 76,464 women (The Nurses’ Health Study) and of 42,498 men (The Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study) showed that those who eat a handful of nuts each day are 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than those who do not eat nuts (New England Journal of Medicine, November 21, 2013). The more nuts a person ate, the less likely he or she was to die over this 30-year follow-up period. Eating nuts:
• less than once a week was associated with a seven percent lower death rate,
• once a week -- an 11 percent reduction,
• two to four times per week -- a 13 percent reduction,
• five to six times per week -- a 15 percent reduction, and
• seven or more times a week -- a 20 percent reduction.
Regular nut eaters were 29 percent less likely to die of heart disease and 11 percent less likely to die from cancer.

The authors note that: "As compared with participants who consumed nuts less frequently, those who consumed nuts more frequently were leaner, less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to use multivitamin supplements; they also consumed more fruits and vegetables and drank more alcohol." Thus they do not claim that nuts are directly responsible for the reduced death rate, but the linear relationship of death rates with the amount of nuts consumed suggests that there is a connection. Many previous studies have shown that eating nuts is associated with reduced death rate and reduced risk for heart attacks, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, gallstones, and diverticulitis. Eating nuts is also associated with reduced blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol, measures of oxidative stress and inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance. Nuts are full of fat, but in this study the people who ate nuts regularly were more slender than those who did not eat nuts.

Why Nuts Won't Make You Fat

Checked 1/29/17

December 1st, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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