David1941 Posted July 30, 2016 Report Share Posted July 30, 2016 The Health Benefits of Nuts ©2016, David Leonard. Educational Program Coordinator (retired), Nutrition Connections Program, Univ of NH Cooperative Extension NOTE: Kidney stone concerns about nuts are covered in my response to Pete & Pat's comment (see the next 2 posts below). Impressive research reveals that regular nut intake (about 1.5 to 2 oz. on most days) is linked with lower risk of death, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, gallstones, and cancer. Of course, people with a nut allergy should avoid them. Some handy nut conversions. One ounce of nuts equals: Peanuts: Just under ¼ cup peanuts or about 28 kernels (166 calories) Almonds: 22 whole or just under 1/4 cup (163 cals.) Walnuts: 14 halves (185 cals.). ¼ cup chopped = 1.25 oz. (231 cals.). 1/3 cup chopped = 1.75 oz. (325 cals.) Pistachios: 49 shelled whole kernels or about 1/4 cup (162 cals.) Cashews: Just under ¼ cup of halves & wholes (163 cals.) Nuts aren’t fattening! In fact, studies reveal that moderate amounts don't boost weight. Despite their high calorie content (160-185 per oz.), a combined analysis of 33 clinical trials found that 1 to 2 oz. a day didn’t increase weight, even when added to the diet without replacing other foods (AJCN 2013; 97(6):1346-55). In another study, adding an extra 500 calories a day of peanuts (about 3 oz. or 3/4 cup) to the diet of 15 adults for 8 weeks resulted in 2.2 lbs. of weight gain versus an expected gain of 7.9 lbs. (AJCN 2009:89:1913-19). So why aren't nuts (in moderation) linked to weight gain? They're unusually satisfying per calorie due to their protein, fiber, and healthy monounsaturated & polyunsaturated fats which the body "burns" more completely than saturated fat. Plus, a significant portion of the fat calories in nuts (but not nut butters) isn’t absorbed but excreted in the stool, since we don’t chew them very thoroughly. The best way to add nuts to your diet is to substitute them for an equal calorie amount of other foods you may be overdoing like red meat, processed meat, refined grains (white rice, white bread, white pasta), sweets, and regular soda. What Makes Nuts So Healthy? 1. Their fat is largely healthy (low in saturated fat, no trans fat). Walnuts are also a good source of an omega-3 fat called ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), although it’s weaker than the types (EPA, DHA) found in oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring, rainbow trout, arctic char, and anchovies. 2. They’re rich in disease-fighting antioxidants including vitamin E (especially almonds, walnuts, pistachios and pecans) 3. They're high in magnesium which helps reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Which nuts have the most research-backed benefits? Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, and peanuts (even if they're honey roasted). Choose unsalted or lightly-salted nuts. Reduced death risk: A study of 76,000 women (Nurses’ Health Study,1980-2010) and 43,000 men (Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 1986-2010) found that nut intake (including peanuts) was associated with a reduced all-cause death risk compared to no intake (based on a 1-oz. serving size): 7% (less than once a week), 11% (once a week), 13% (2 to 4 times weekly), 15% (5 to 6 times), 20% (7 or more times). Similar links were found between nut intake and lower death risk from cancer, heart disease, and respiratory disease. Nut type wasn't a factor. (NEJM 2013; 396:2001-11). Heart disease: A combined analysis of 4 large-scale studies (Adventist, Nurses Health, Iowa Women’s, and Physicians Health) found that people eating nuts at least 4 times a week had a 37% reduced risk of heart disease compared to those seldom or never eating nuts. Each weekly serving of nuts (1 oz.) was linked with an 8.3% average risk reduction (Brit. J of Nutr, 11/06). The 17-year Physician Health nut study of 21,000 male doctors found a 47% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death (fatal heart arrhythmia) for those eating nuts 2 or more times a week, compared to those seldom eating nuts (Arch Intern Med, 6/24/02). Diabetes prevention: Combined results of 3 studies (646,000 men & women followed for 14-28 years) found that substituting an ounce of nuts for a daily serving of red meat cut type-2 diabetes risk by 21% (Am J Clin Nutr, e-pub 8/10/11). Cancer prevention: Combined results from 36 studies ranging from 4.6 to 30 years duration (30,000 total participants) found that those eating the most nuts had a 15% lower risk of cancer in general compared to those eating the least. The strongest protection was for colo-rectal, endometrial, and pancreatic cancers, but only a few of the studies measured this (Nutr Reviews 2015; 73(7):409-25). A study of 826 patients with stage III colo-rectal cancer found that those eating tree nuts at least twice weekly had a 46% reduced recurrence risk & a 53% lower death risk. Peanuts or peanut butter weren't significantly linked. Changes in colon-cancer related genes accounted for at least part of the benefit. (Presented at the 2017 annual ASCO conference; results preliminary till published). Reduced gallstone risk: A 20-year study of 81,000 female nurses found that eating 5 or more ounces of peanuts per week reduced gallstone surgery risk by 25% (Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Jul; 80(1):76-81). A 12-year study of 44,000 male physicians found a 30% lower gallstone incidence in those eating at least 5 oz. of nuts per week compared to infrequent nut eaters (Am J Epidemiol, 11/15/04). Are nuts safe for people with diverticulosis or diverticulitis? For decades, many doctors told patients with these conditions to avoid nuts, popcorn, corn, small seeds like those in strawberries and blueberries, fearing they might damage the intestinal lining or lodge in the pouches and promote inflammation. But, a study following 47,000 men for 18 years found no significant link between these foods and either diverticulosis or diverticulitis. In fact: Those eating nuts at least twice a week had a 20% lower incidence of diverticulitis Those eating popcorn at least twice a week had a 28% lower incidence of diverticulitis Corn was not associated with increased risk. Those eating strawberries or blueberries at least twice a week had a 13% lower incidence of diverticulitis and a 14% lower risk of diverticular bleeding. (JAMA, 8/27/08; Vol. 300, No. 8:907-913) These days, most doctors and gastroenterologists don't follow the old cautions, but you should heed your own doctor's advice, especially during a diverticulitis "flare-up". Don't nuts increase kidney stone risk due to their oxalate content? Please see my response to Pete and Pat's concerns (2nd and 3rd posts in this thread). Walnut storage tip: Once shelled, their omega-3 fat can become rancid if stored too long at warm temps. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container if you won’t use them soon. Fresh walnuts have a nutty smell & sweet taste. A paint thinner smell indicates spoilage. My Other Posts in this Health Issues Forum: Extra Virgin Olive Oil's Many Health Benefits (if you use the right brands) , 1/15/16, http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=121569 Very Low-Carb Diets for Diabetes (research trial results), 10/13/15, http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=120252 Fatty Liver Disease Common in Diabetes: Prevention & Treatment, 10/13/15, http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=120256 Diabetes Raises Dementia Risk, but You Can Lower It, 7/24/15, http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=119092 Chelation Therapy for Heart Disease Helps Some but Not All (research trial results), 5/18/15, http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=117909 IMPORTANT DISCLAIMERS 1. The info presented in this post should not replace professional medical or dietary advice, diagnosis or treatment. 2. Always consult your registered dietitian or physician before making any significant dietary or exercise changes. 3. 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