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According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, consumption of tree nuts may reduce the risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Tree nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts.
The study monitored dietary intakes of 13,292 adult men and women via the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).
Daily tree nut consumption was associated with a 5 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, which is defined as a group of medical issues that occur together and increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Tree nut consumers also had higher levels of “good” cholesterol, and a lower prevalence of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, and high fasting blood sugar levels.
The study’s lead researcher, Dr. Carol O’Neil noted: “One of the more interesting findings was the fact that tree nut consumers had lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to non-consumers.”
O’Neil also concluded: “Tree nuts should be an integral part of a healthy diet and encouraged by health professionals – especially registered dietitians.”
Although the study was funded by the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation, it merely adds to an existing body of research noting the health benefits of nuts. Thus, nuts likely are a healthy addition to our diets – in moderation of course.
For more information about nuts, check out our recently-published article: 5 Health Benefits of Nuts.
Image Credit: Roger’s Wife/Flickr