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Go Nuts!

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Good news for nut lovers, according to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, a daily serving of nuts may help you live longer. This study, published in November, followed 120,000 people for 30 years. The researchers found a correlation between increased nut consumption with a reduced risk of major chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes. While nut eaters are also more likely to lead healthier lifestyles (less likely to smoke, become obese, and more likely exercise), just the act of eating nuts on a regular basis contributed to a longer lifespan – a daily handful of nuts cut the death rate during the study by 20%!

Nuts can be an excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, the healthy fats that are linked to lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke. In fact, the lead researcher Dr. Charles Fuchs, from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, said: “The most obvious benefit [of eating nuts] was a reduction of 29% in deaths from heart disease, but we also saw a significant reduction – 11% – in the risk of dying from cancer.” The researchers believe nuts help lower cholesterol, decrease inflammation, and reduce insulin resistance.

Before you “go nuts” with nuts, remember, the serving size to receive the benefits from nuts was one handful. How much is a handful? It depends on the nut you choose and the size of your hand, but the table below will guide you towards a healthy handful for some of the most popular nuts on the market. A handful is about 1-2 ounces. Also, be aware of how they are prepared. Skip the sugary coated, oily roasted types and stick with raw when available. Remember “you only have one body, treat it with respect!”

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Sharon Richter, RD
200 W 57th St
New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212.977.7779

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