Nuts are nutrient-dense foods rich in healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants and other favorable bioactive substances.
Yet because of their calorie density many people avoid, or strictly limit their nut consumption to limit potential weight gain.
If you review the data on nuts - avoiding them is nuts!
Two large prospective studies in the US with almost 120,000 people followed for 15 to 30 years showed that people who ate nuts seven or more times per week had a 20% lower death rate than those who avoided nuts altogether. (NEJM 369;21)
Nut eaters had lower rates of death across most major causes including heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease.
The benefits were similar for both tree nuts and peanuts.
Concerns about weight gain were not substantiated, in fact across both these cohorts, nut eaters gained less weight over time.
The benefits of nuts have been seen in other major trials:
Observational studies and other clinical trials have suggested that eating nuts will decrease coronary artery disease and improve key lipid biomarkers.
Yet more studies have shown improvements in other key biomarkers indicating benefits including:
All of these benefits for something that tastes so good.
In my thinking, “you would have to be nuts to avoid nuts!”
Dr. Brendan Byrne