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Nut Consumption Linked With Reduced Mortality Risk

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital suggests that people who eat nuts daily are 20% less likely to die from any cause over a time period of 30 years.

For this study, researchers examined data from the Nurses’ Health Study – which included 76,464 women – and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study – with included 42,498 men. In both studies, the participants filled out food frequency questionnaires every two to four years, between 1980 and 2010 for the women and 1986 and 2010 for the men.

The researchers analyzed the data, controlled for various lifestyle factors, and determined that eating nuts less than once a week was correlated with a 7% reduction in risk of all-cause mortality, once a week with an 11% reduction, two to four times weekly with a 13% reduction, five to six times weekly with a 15% reduction, and seven or more times weekly with a 20% reduction.

The researchers were unable to determine if any specific type or types of nuts were responsible for the protective effect. They did find though that the reduction in mortality risk was similar for peanuts and tree nuts such as walnuts, almonds and cashews.

The study was published on November 21, 2013 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Nuts are nutrient dense foods that are rich in unsaturated fatty acids, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals and tocopherols. Previous studies have linked nuts with reduced risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes and hypertension.

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