Sickness Prevention

Adding tree nuts to diet may help with weight loss and sickness prevention

The Journal of the American College of Nutrition recently published a study examining risk factors for heart disease, metabolic syndrome and other chronic ailments in subjects who consumed a diet that included tree nuts (such as almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans and pistachios) compared to those who did not.

Study participants who reported regularly snacking on nuts had higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of C-reactive protein – a signifier of abnormal inflammation that may lead to a variety of serious ailments including heart disease – when compared to individuals who did not eat nuts.

"One of the more interesting findings was the fact that tree nut consumers had lower body weight, as well as lower body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference compared to non-consumers," stated Carol O’Neil, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D. and lead author of the study.

While the research suggests that eating nuts may be a useful sickness prevention effort, few Americans actually consume adequate amounts of the hard-shelled fruits, prompting researchers to call for public dietary awareness programs.

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