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FOOD Can a handful of nuts make you live longer?

You may have once worried that nuts were the hidden sweeties of the health world, but now a study carried out by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston suggest that they could reduce your risk of early death

Over thirty years, Dr Charles Fuchs studied the eating habits of 119,000 Americans. No one involved had a history of heart disease, stroke or cancer, and each person’s nut consumption was verified at the start then every two to four years during the study.

After three decades, the results showed a seven percent reduced risk of dying from any cause in the people who ate nuts. The more nuts they ate also related to a reduced risk; those who had nuts once a week had an 11 percent lower risk, two to four servings a week was associated with a 13 per cent risk drop, and those who consumed the most nuts (at least seven one ounce servings weekly) reduced their overall death risk by 20 per cent. This one ounce serving was the equivalent of 16-24 almonds, 16-18 cashews or 30-35 peanuts.

Handful of Almonds

Although this study uncovered an association between nuts and living longer, it didn’t prove cause-and-effect. However, as well as an extended life the nut eaters were also healthier overall.

What is also important to consider, Dr Fuchs’ study pointed out, it is good to introduce nuts into your diet in place of other ‘empty calories’ like crisps or sweets. They provide quality protein, fibre, good fats and B vitamins.

RELATED: How almonds can make you thin



lydia headshotLydia Jones blogs at

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