December 19, 2016

400 Ahhh, Nuts! [19 Dec 2016]

Nuts get a bad rap. When something goes wrong, we say “Aw, nuts!” with the same meaning as “Aw, rats!”. To show nuts the respect and admiration they deserve, we should instead use the expression “Ahhh, nuts!”.

I previoiusly wrote about the nutritional benefits of nuts in December 2009 (#043) and December 2013 (#245).

Last week natural health author Leslie Beck reported for the Globe and Mail on the results of a large study published this month in BMC Medicine. The study was a meta-analysis of 20 prospective cohort studies from the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia with a total of nearly 820,000 participants. The study looked at nut intake and mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes.

What they found is that nuts are even more beneficial than previously known. People eating 20 grams or more of nuts reduced their risk of dying by:
• 29% for coronary heart disease
• 21% for cardiovascular disease
• 39% for diabetes
• 15% for cancer (tree nuts only)
• 52% for respiratory disease, and
• 22% for premature death of all causes.

The study found peanuts were as protective as tree nuts for heart disease and all-cause mortality but not for cancer. A significant reduction in risk of stroke was found with peanuts (37%) but not with tree nuts (11%). Looking at the results another way, the authors estimated that 4.4 million premature deaths annually could be attributed to eating less than 20 grams of nuts daily.

Including nuts in your diet is an easy way to improve your health, especially if you substitute them for less healthy snacks. They are expensive but fortunately we don’t need much – 20 grams or about a handful a day is enough to provide most of the protective benefits found in this study.

Pass the nuts please. Delicious! Ahhh, nuts!

It’s hard to believe that this is my 400th column in nearly 8 years of writing. I hope to continue for at least another 100. Donna and I wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy healthy new year.

For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner

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