Today, we can confidently say that nuts are good for you. However, as recently as twenty years ago, we probably couldn’t have. In the 1980s, the consumption of nuts in the United States started to slide downward. There had been so much fear regarding the relationship between fat and heart disease. People have started turning to diets that turn away any food that contains fat.
Nuts Are High In Fat So They Earned A Bad Reputation Based On Their Public Image
The Nurses Health Study was a very important influence on the nut market revival in the 1990s. At Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, researchers followed the diet of eighty-six thousand nurses. They found that nurses who ate five ounces of nuts per week had one-third fewer heart attacks than those that didn’t. Even those who ate nuts only one to four times a week decreased their risk of heart attacks. Compared to the non-nut-eating population.
A further study of the Boston data also shows that the risk of type 2 diabetes in women substantially reduces by including nuts in the diet.
Another study out of Harvard, of forty thousand postmenopausal women, showed that the more nuts they ate, the lower the risk of a heart attack. According to that study, eating nuts five times a week will reduce your heart attack risk. Even eating nuts once a week led to a 25 percent reduction in cholesterol. It seems to lower the bad LDL cholesterol without affecting the good HDL.
Studies on Olive Oil, Almonds, And Dairy Products
Another comparative study of three diets, one based on olive oil, another on almonds, and the third on dairy products. They showed that the almond diet gave the best results. A Loma Linda study of walnuts showed that a diet with 20 percent of daily calories from walnuts reduced heart problems. More good news for the walnut growers – a new study in France showed that “beneficial blood lipid levels were associated with walnut consumption.” Another set of trials in Europe shows that diets with many almonds reduced total cholesterol, including “bad cholesterol.”
Calorie Content In Healthy Nuts
Despite these studies, many people were still reluctant to eat nuts because of their calorie content. As caloric as they are, nuts won’t necessarily make you gain weight. Nuts satisfy, which has a direct result on your health. Eating just an ounce or so of nuts takes the edge off of hunger. Overall, so you tend to eat less.
Other experts have made the case for nuts’ ability to fight heart disease and cancer. Specifically cited were two studies showing a decreased prostate cancer risk among men forty-five to seventy-four. Their numbers improved when they consumed nuts. Researcher Paul Davis at UC Davis warns that much more study is needed before we use tree nuts as medicine. He is cautiously optimistic about using raw nuts to diminish the chances of cancer.
Allergies And Nuts
There is one essential drawback, and that’s that three million Americans are allergic to peanuts. Many more tree nuts also trigger allergic reactions in thousands of people. Far fewer people feel dangerous allergic reaction effects from tree nuts than from peanuts. An allergy can manifest itself in several ways. Wheezing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing, to name a few. There can also be hives and intestinal problems. At their worst, allergens could be fatal, triggering anaphylactic shock. Most people who are allergic to nuts already know this about themselves. They take the necessary precautions and choose healthy nuts that do not set off their allergies.
In conclusion, unless you are allergic to them, eat nuts. Reduce the risk of heart attacks, eat less overall, and enjoy one of nature’s most well-rounded and delicious foods.