Tree nuts and peanuts are nutrient dense foods high in unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenols. Because they are so nutrient dense, nuts are nutritionally beneficial and are felt to contribute to good health outcomes.
Studies have associated nut consumption with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones in both genders and diabetes in women. Some studies suggest that nuts may be beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, inflammation and that they may even lower cholesterol. Blood pressure, obesity and metabolic syndrome also appear to be positively influenced by nut consumption. Clinical trials also suggest that regular nut consumption is unlikely to contribute to obesity and may even help in weight loss!
In July 2013 a study revealed that eating nuts decreased mortality risk among individuals with high cardiovascular risk (heart disease, arteriosclerosis, etc.) Approximately 84 million Americans have some form of cardiovascular disease which is the cause of one out of three deaths in the U.S.
Subjects were assigned to 3 groups, the Mediterranean diet plus nuts, the Mediterranean diet plus olive oil and a control diet. The subjects were followed for almost 5 years. At the end of this time the researchers found that the subjects who consumed more than three servings of nuts per week had a 39 percent lower mortality risk compared to the subjects that did not consume nuts and a 63 percent decreased risk of mortality compared to the controls who ate a regular North American diet. 1-12
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