Walnuts & Other Nuts Improve Markers of Chronic Disease
Walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios are types of tree nuts, for which a number of previous studies have suggested a variety of health benefits. Carol O’Neil, from Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (Louisiana, USA), and colleagues reviewed data collected on 13,292 men and women, ages 19 years and up, participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 1999 – 2004. The team surveyed subjects for on dietary intake – including tree nuts, and correlated the data against factors involved in chronic diseases. 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, as compared to non-consumers. Further, tree nut consumption was associated with a 5% lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome, as well as 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.
O'Neil, C.E., D.R. Keast, T.A. Nicklas, V.L. Fulgoni, III. Nut consumption is associated with decreased health risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome in U.S. adults: NHANES 1999-2004. J Am Coll Nutr. 30:502-510.