We’ve known that increased nut consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. But do those who eat nuts actually live longer lives? Clinical trials have shown nuts help lower cholesterol and oxidation, and improve our arterial function and blood sugar levels. Does all this translate into greater longevity?
Researchers at Harvard examined the association between nut consumption and subsequent mortality of over 100,000 people followed for decades. In that time, tens of thousands died, but those that ate nuts every day lived significantly longer. Daily nut consumers had fewer deaths from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease, even after controlling for other lifestyle factors. Nut consumers lived significantly longer whether they were older or younger, fat or skinny, whether they exercised more, smoked, drank, or ate other foods that may affect mortality.
But nuts are so filled with fat that there “may be a concern that frequent nut consumption can result in weight gain.” However, that’s not what the Harvard researchers found. In fact, other studies have associated nut consumption with a slimmer waist, less weight gain, and lower risk of obesity. If we look at all the studies put together, it’s pretty much a wash. Diets enriched with nuts do not seem to affect body weight, body mass index, or waist circumference much at all. For example, one of the most recent such studies, highlighted in my video,Nuts May Help Prevent Death, in which subjects were told to add either 0, 70, or 120 pistachios to their daily diet as an afternoon snack every day for three months, found no noticeable difference between the three groups. You couldn’t see any difference between those eating no nuts and those eating more than 100 a day. Hence, it appears that the incorporation of nuts (around one to two small handfuls a day) would be advisable to ensure various health benefits without the risk of body weight gain.
How nuts do we have to go? Not much. Just a few servings a week may boost our lifespan and lower cancer rates—but it appears we have to keep it up. In the PREDIMED study, when long-time nut eaters were told to cut down on eating nuts or choose extra virgin olive oil, within five years they apparently lost much of their longevity benefit. Only the group that started out eating nuts and continued to eat at least the same amount of nuts died significantly less often.
More on nuts and cancer in Tree Nuts or Peanuts for Breast Cancer Prevention?
Nuts and inflammatory disease: Fighting Inflammation in a Nut Shell.
More than you ever wanted to know about nuts and weight here: Nuts and Obesity: The Weight of Evidence.
What if your physician tells you to not eat nuts because you have diverticulosis? Share this video with them: Diverticulosis & Nuts.
Those 100 pistachios a day may have one side-effect, though: Pistachio Nuts for Erectile Dysfunction.
-Michael Greger, M.D.
Image Credit: Aoife mac / Flickr
The new Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 Lists have been released for 2013.
The dirty, pesticide & herbicide laden list of 12 produce items have the highest levels of pesticide residue (even after being washed and peeled). So if you are interested in organics, these products are the ones that you want to focus on (in order of importance).
These twelve foods are where you want to spend the extra money on organic produce whenever possible:
And here is the Clean 15 list for 2013. These are the items with the least amount of pesticide contamination found so when budget is tight and availability are scarce these are acceptable when buying non-organic.
And there is also a Dirty Dozen Plus- these items are not on the Dirty Dozen list but still something to try to find in organic if you can:
And if you want to have this list on the go:
Please remember that eating someproduce is better then no produce in your diet 🙂 The list above is a guideline to help us all transition away from dangerously high levels of pesticides foods to clean foods. Your buying power is your vote for health and a vote against those money driven non-organic Growers.
Warning: its content is a bit graffic but not tastelessly so.
‘Food Fight’ video; food resistance movement crosses racial lines, black, white, Latino all fight for survival against the processed food death machine
Check out this music video called “Food Fight” put together by Earth Amplified as it portrays the evils of a Fast Food Nation addicted to processed food, to be exact: the nutrient-depleted, overly-refined, pasteurized homogenized GMO-contaminated pesticide-sprayed food that is cunningly packaged and distributed by those to grow, produce, market and support it.
Conceived by Ashel Eldridge (aka Seasunz), founder of Earth Amplified, S.O.S. Juice and a spiritual activist, “Food Fight” is a message that needs to be blasted out across the world to reach into the minds and hearts of every citizen, every member of urban youth and every human being alive today, regardless of race or economic status.
Watch it here:
Food Fight Video by Seasunz
Join the fight with www.yahfoods.com for food justice!
Eat Fresh, Eat Raw!!!!!!!!!