Sickness Prevention

Tree nuts may help prevent chronic conditions

Sickness prevention doesn't always mean that a person has to get a shot or take medications. Sometimes, preventing illness can be as simple as making changes to your diet. For example, as part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is highlighting how individuals can help avoid heart disease by switching out junk food for tree nuts.

According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, people who regularly eat tree nuts such as pistachios, walnuts and almonds have lower odds of developing certain chronic diseases than those who do not consume these hard-shelled fruits.

Study participants who reported that they often eat tree nuts were found to have a lower risk of abdominal obesity, hypertension (high blood pressure) and low levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol, compared to others who said they rarely or never consume nuts.

Having high blood pressure, low HDL levels and being obese are all factors that can increase a person's risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a number of other conditions. These findings suggest that simply choosing healthier snacks may help prevent illness.

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