A new US study adds to growing evidence
that nuts – once considered too fattening to be healthy – may in fact help keep
weight down, in addition to offering other health benefits.
Researchers found that study participants
who ate the most tree nuts – such as almonds, Brazil nuts, pistachios and
walnuts – were between 37% and 46% less likely to be obese than those who ate
the fewest tree nuts.
People who ate the most nuts were also less
likely to have a suite of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome, which is
tied to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.
"This is another study that shows
there is an association between eating nuts and not being obese and having less
tendency to have metabolic syndrome," Dr Joan Sabaté told Reuters Health. Sabaté
is the study's senior author from Loma Linda University in California.
nuts for your health
Why nuts are good for you
Nuts are high in unsaturated
fat, which is known as a "good" fat compared to the saturated fat
found in animal products.
The high protein content of nuts may also
lead people to feel fuller and eat less unhealthy food. They also contain a
host of other nutrients and plant chemicals that are beneficial to health,
Body mass index
For the new study, the researchers used
data on the diets of 803 Seventh-day Adventist men and women in the US who were
already enrolled in another study.
Overall, those who ate a lot of tree nuts –
about 16 grams (half an ounce) per day – were just a little over normal weight,
on average, compared to those who ate few or no nuts and were seriously
overweight or obese.
nuts lowers cholesterol
A normal body mass index (BMI) – a measure
of weight in relation to height – for an adult falls between 18.5 and 24.9,
according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Overweight
people have BMIs between 25 and 29.9 and a BMI of 30 or more is considered
People in the study who ate the most nuts
averaged BMIs of about 27 while those who ate the least – less than 5 grams of
tree nuts per day – averaged BMIs of 29 to 30.
The researchers also found that one third
of the participants in the study had metabolic syndrome, which is defined as
having three or more conditions associated with heart disease and diabetes risk.
(Those include being obese, having high blood pressure and high cholesterol,
and having a large waistline).
For every one-ounce serving of tree nuts
consumed per week, however, a person's risk of having metabolic syndrome
dropped by 7%.
Adding nuts is a healthy choice
Nuts help to control diabetes
Nuts are good for your heart