I LOVE TO EAT NUTS! Turns out, nuts are quite good for you. Consuming nuts is negatively associated with all sorts of chronic diseases including heart disease and diabetes. Clinical trials have shown nuts help lower cholesterol and oxidation, and improve our arterial function and blood sugar levels.
Eating nuts may help you live longer! A study from a few years ago from Harvard Medical School examined the association between nut consumption and subsequent mortality of over 100,000 people followed for decades. The researchers found that those people who ate nuts every day lived significantly longer than those who rarely or never ate nuts. Nutters (my word for daily nut consumers) had fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Nutters lived significantly longer regardless of their other lifestyle factors such as whether they were older or younger, fat or skinny, whether they exercised more, smoked, drank, or ate other foods that may affect mortality.
In order to reap the benefits, however, it appears that regular eating of nuts on a daily basis is required. The study found that when long-time nut eaters were told to cut down on eating nuts, within five years they apparently lost much of their longevity benefit. Only the Nutters had significant mortality benefits. Occasionally eating nuts doesn’t do the trick.
What about all the fat and calories in nuts? Does that lead to weight gain in Nutters? It appears that nuts do not lead to weight gain. Multiple controlled trial studies have found that adding nuts (sometimes well over 100 nuts a day) does not induce weight gain. This is largely attributable to the high satiety property of nuts. In the Harvard study mentioned above, Nutters were generally slimmer than non-Nutters.
So, go nuts eating nuts. Here’s Harlan Pepper naming some nuts for you from the great movie Best in Show:
Links to studies: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24256379