I have just got back from my MOT with the nurse: cholesterol and blood-sugar levels were checked, blood pressure taken, BMI recorded. At the end of which the kindly nurse gave me a percentage risk score for developing heart disease or diabetes.
The process got me thinking, so I was particularly interested to then read about nuts reducing the risk of these very conditions.
Recent research shows that eating 28 grams (a handful) of nuts daily reduces your risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
It is from a robust analysis of 20 previous studies, carried out in Norway. It was funded by a charitable trust, health authority and university, so is a pretty trustworthy source.
However, as is so often the case with studies into diet and health, the researchers cannot 100% prove nuts are the sole cause of these outcomes. It’s hard to discount the possibility that nuts were just one component of a healthier lifestyle pattern, including balanced diet and regular physical activity. It could be this overall picture that is reducing risk, not just nuts.
Bearing this in mind, the study of 376,228 adults did find nut consumption reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. Each 28 gram/day serving was linked with a 21% reduced risk. (nb. if you have a family history of heart disease, a healthy diet including nuts can help, but still may not be able to eliminate the risk entirely).
The study of 304,285 adults found that one serving of nuts per day reduced risk of any cancer by 15%.
And of recorded 85,870 recorded deaths within the huge study group, one serving of nuts a day was linked with a 22% reduced risk of respiratory and diabetes deaths.
So it may be worth stocking up on some of those nut bags on sale in the supermarkets for the festive season. But carry the habit on right into the New Year and beyond.