Go Nuts for Your Heart
Nut consumers had significantly smaller waist circumference measures, 37.6 inches on average, versus 40 inches
While it may be true that nuts are high in fat and calories, research continues to show that they are nutritional gems. Adding a moderate amount of nuts into your diet may be one way to keep your heart healthy and your health at its best.
People need more nuts
Researchers used information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to study the connection between nut consumption and health in 13,292 adults, 19 years and older. They analyzed diet, other health habits, and markers of cardiovascular wellness, including blood pressure, waist circumference, height and weight, HDL ("good") cholesterol, and fasting glucose (blood sugar), to look for links between nuts and improved health.
People eating at least 1/4 of an ounce of nuts per day, on average, were classified as regular nut eaters. Each person's body mass index (BMI) was calculated from height and weight. A BMI of 25-to-29.9 places a person in the overweight category, and a BMI greater than 30 is considered obese. The researchers found:
Noshing nuts may improve health
This study is observational, so cannot prove cause and effect. Still, the results agree with numerous other studies, which suggest that adding nuts into the diet can improve health in many ways. There are few downsides to eating more nuts, and our tips will help you find ways to add this healthy food into your daily routine:
(J Am Coll Nutr 2011; 30:502-510)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.