Sunday, November 24, 2013

Eat Nuts and Be Healthier

Many people look for quick fixes when it comes to their diet.  Instead of some miracle diet or quick fix, if people just started some healthier eating habits their health would improve.  Most people think eating healthy is giving up things.  Can’t have cake, can’t have cookies.  But eating healthy is more about eating healthier foods.  This week the latest research shows that just adding a handful of nuts to your diet every day lowers your death risk by reducing cancer and heart disease.

Dr. Oz has long recommended a handful of nuts a day for health.  Since 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended a handful of nuts to lower your heart disease risk.  In my nutrition class, I always give a list of ways to eat healthier and one of them is eating a handful of nuts a day. 

So what did Harvard researchers find out and what did they study? (Association of Nut Consumption with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality)  Over a 30 year period Harvard researchers tracked 110,000 men and women.  They found that those who ate a handful of nuts every day lowered their risk of death by 20%.  Eat nuts less often and you still benefit but not as much as those who ate nuts every day.  Previous researchers have shown nuts can lower heart disease risk.  This study found the risk of dying from heart disease dropped by 29% and the risk of dying from cancer dropped by 11 percent in those who ate nuts seven or more times a week. 

What nuts to eat?  The study noted peanuts, pistachios, almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts all provided health benefits.

But aren’t nuts fattening?  Surprisingly, those who ate the handful of nuts a day were slimmer.  But remember, they were eating a handful of nuts a day, not the entire container of nuts.
So one healthy habit to start is eating a handful of nuts a day.  Pack a handful in a baggie and bring them to work as a snack.  Pack them in your lunch.  So easy to make this a habit and improve your health in the process.

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