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Nuts May Lower Risk of Mortality From Heart Disease, Cancer

Previous studies have found evidence that consuming tree nuts and peanuts on a regular basis has a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health. A recent study examined the association between nut consumption and mortality in participants at high cardiovascular risk. The researchers found that people who ate 3 or more servings of nuts - especially walnuts - per week were 55% less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and 40% less likely to die from cancer.

The participants in this study included 7,000 people between the ages of 55 and 90. They were assigned to one of the following three interventions:

1. A Mediterranean diet enriched with extra-virgin olive oil

2. A Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed nuts

3. A low-fat diet

The median follow up time was 4.8 years.

Participants who ate more than three servings of nuts per week had the lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer. They also had a 39% lower risk of dying from any cause. Those who ate 3 or more servings per week of walnuts had a 45% lower risk of dying.

Researchers from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Italy conducted the study. It was published on July 16, 2013 in BMC 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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