Monday, August 31, 2015

“I heard that nuts are fattening. Are nuts good or bad?”

             Nuts are a great source of a number of nutrients and have several significant health benefits.  They are packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fatty acids, and other nutritious compounds1.  Even though nuts are very high in fat (up to 75% by weight!), consuming them as part of a well balanced diet has actually been found to improve blood lipid levels and decrease the risk of heart disease2. Incorporating more than three servings of nuts per week has been shown to decrease the risk for a number of serious health problems including cardiovascular disease and diabetes1.  An extensive study by Guasch-Ferre, et. al. examined and modified the diets of 7,216 patients who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease1.  They found that a diet high in nut consumption was significantly decreased risk of death, especially due to cardiovascular problems1.  Individuals who consumed more than three servings of nuts per week had a whopping 39% lower risk of death than individuals who did not consume nuts regularly1. 

            Another study conducted by Jaceldo-Siegl et. al., found that there was a strong association between nut consumption and decreased risk for obesity2.  In this study, the dietary, demographic and clinical data of 803 adults was studied and it was concluded that individuals consuming 16g of tree nuts per day were at a significantly lower risk of obesity2.  Although this study is of a much lower quality than the previous study, they do conclude that there is a correlation between high nut consumption and overall health2. 

            There is a significant amount of research available describing the health benefits of consuming nuts regularly as part of a balanced diet.  Although they are high in fat, they are packed with nutrition and may help to improve your cardiovascular health and decrease your risk for other illnesses.  Also, because nuts are so high in fat and so packed with nutrients, they are likely to keep you full longer, making for the perfect snack to hold you over between meals! Therefore, nuts are considered very nutritious and should not be avoided in the diet (unless you have an allergy or your physician recommends otherwise!).  Adding just three servings of nuts per week to your diet may have significant health benefits and assist in prevention of some serious illnesses and according to Guasche-Ferre, et. al., may also help you live longer1!


1. Guasch-Ferre, M., Bullo, M., Martinez-Gonzalez, M., Ros, E., Corella, D., Estruch, R., Fito, M., Aros, F., Waernberg, J., Fiol, M., Lapetra, J., Vinyoles, E., Lamuela-Raventos, R., Serra-Majem, L., Pinto, X., Ruiz-Gutierrez, V., Basora, J., Salas-Salvado, J. Frequency of nut consumption and mortality risk in the PREDIMED nutrition intervention trial. BMC Medicine. 2013; 11: 164. 

2.  Jaceldo-Siegl, K., Haddad, E.,  Oda, K., Fraser, G., and Sabate, J.  Tree Nuts are Inversely Associated with metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: The Adventist Health Study-2.  Public Library of Science.  2014; 9(1): 1-13.

3.  Fleming, Alesha.  Natural Health and Wellness Chiropractic., Daytona Beach, FL, 2015.

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