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Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Eating nuts may help combat diabetes and heart disease

EATING nuts may help combat diabetes and heart disease, research has found.
A study showed that those who ate tree nuts, including cashews, walnuts and pistachios, were slimmer and had low BMIs than non consumers.
They had higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of proteins linked to inflammation and heart disease and were also five per cent less likely to suffer metabolic syndrome - a group of risk factors which together can cause stroke, diabetes and heart conditions.
Professor Carol O'Neil, of Louisiana State University, said: "One of the more interesting findings was the fact that tree nut consumers had lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to nonconsumers.
"The mean weight, BMI, and waist circumference were 4.19 pounds, 0.9kg/m2 and 0.83 inches lower in consumers than non-consumers, respectively."
Her team looked at data from more than 13,000 men and women with 'tree nut consumers' classed as those who ate more than quarter of an ounce a day.
They were five per cent less likely to have metabolic syndrome and also had a lower prevalence of four risk factors for metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high fasting glucose (blood sugar) levels and low high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol levels.
Eating nuts was also associated with greater intake of whole grains and fruits and lower levels of alcohol an added sugar.
Dr O'Neil said: "Tree nuts should be an integral part of a healthy diet and encouraged by health professionals-especially registered dietitians."
Maureen Ternus, Executive Director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation, said: "In light of these new data and the fact that the FDA has issued a qualified health claim for nuts and heart disease with a recommended intake of 1.5 ounces of nuts per day.
"We need to educate people about the importance of including tree nuts in the diet."

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