Study links nuts to lower heart disease and cancer death risk

While they may not be a fountain of youth, research from the New England Journal of Medicine suggests a handful or so of nuts every day could be a lifesaver.According to NBC News, researchers at Dana-Farber, Harvard, and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that “people who ate one ounce of nuts seven times a week were 20 percent less likely to die from a variety of causes: heart disease, stroke, cancer, respiratory illness, kidney disease and infection.”

CBS News reports on its website that according to the authors, previous studies linked eating nuts with a smaller chance of developing diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions.

Meanwhile, “in 2003, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a health claim that eating 1.5 ounces of nuts a day as part of low fat and cholesterol diet may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

The AP reports that Dr. Ying Bao of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said, “There’s a general perception that if you eat more nuts you’re going to get fat. Our results show the opposite.” The piece notes that the study was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation.

The Boston Globe quotes senior study author Dr. Charles S. Fuchs, an oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Harvard Medical School professor, who said, “The reduction in mortality was substantial. I think eating nuts is comparable to other potentially beneficial lifestyle measures like exercise and avoiding obesity and trans fats.”

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