Eating tree nuts results in 'modest decreases' in blood fats and sugars, survey finds

July 30, 2014

Eating tree nuts appears to help reduce two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and strokes, a new research paper says.

The paper found a "modest decrease" in blood fats known as triglycerides and blood sugars among people who added tree nuts to their diets compared to those who ate a control diet.

The paper, by Dr. John Sievenpiper, a physician and researcher in the Clinical Nutrition and Risk Factor Modification Centre of St. Michael's Hospital, was published today in the journal BMJ Open.

Dr. Sievenpiper said he believes this is the first systematic review and meta-analysis examining all of the collective evidence of randomized clinical trials on the effect of tree nuts on . After screening 2,000 articles published in peer-reviewed journals, he found 49 randomized control trials with 2,000 participants.

A person is considered to have metabolic syndrome if he or she has three of the following risk factors: low levels of "good" cholesterol; high triglycerides; high blood pressure; high blood sugar; extra weight around the waist.

Dr. Sievenpiper said the biggest reductions in triglycerides and blood glucose were seen when tree nuts replaced refined carbohydrates rather than saturated fats. He said there was no adverse impact on the other risk factors for metabolic syndrome or weight gain, even though nuts are high in calories. Nuts also have a high fat content, but it's good, or unsaturated, fat.

Tree nuts are such things as almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, coconuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, walnuts, pine nuts and pistachios. They do not include peanuts, which are legumes.

In the randomized control studies, patients ate about 50 grams of nuts a day or about 1-1/2 servings. One serving of tree nuts is about ¼ cup or 30 grams. He said that people in North America consume on average less than one serving a day, so this is one way they can adapt their diets to take advantage of the metabolic benefits.

"Fifty grams of nuts can be easily integrated into a diet as a snack or as a substitute for animal fats or refined carbohydrates," Dr. Sievenpiper said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted a qualified health claim for cardiovascular disease risk reduction. Tree nuts are also recommended as part of the Mediterranean, Portfolio and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets for cardiovascular disease prevention and management based on their ability to reduce bad cholesterol.

Explore further: Study results may help people with type 2 diabetes

Related Stories

Study results may help people with type 2 diabetes

June 24, 2014
Findings from a new study (i) published in Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases show that the fatty acids in nuts have the potential to help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in people with type 2 ...

Study links nut intake with lower risks of obesity

January 8, 2014
A new study , published today in the online journal PLOS ONE, looks at the association between tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts), metabolic syndrome ...

Tree nut consumption associated with reduced risk of pancreatic cancer in women

November 7, 2013
In a large prospective study published online in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers looked at the association between nut consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer among 75,680 women in the Nurses' Health Study, with ...

People who eat nuts have reduced risk of cancer or cardiovascular disease

July 17, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—People who eat nuts, particularly walnuts, are more likely to live longer, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. In a longitudinal study, researchers suggest that those who ...

Nuts pack nutritional benefits

December 24, 2013
Did you know that nuts may help you live longer?

Recommended for you

Expert: Be concerned about how apps collect, share health data

October 20, 2017
As of 2016 there were more than 165,000 health and wellness apps available though the Apple App Store alone. According to Rice University medical media expert Kirsten Ostherr, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates ...

Three million Americans carry loaded handguns daily, study finds

October 19, 2017
An estimated 3 million adult American handgun owners carry a firearm loaded and on their person on a daily basis, and 9 million do so on a monthly basis, new research indicates. The vast majority cited protection as their ...

More teens than ever aren't getting enough sleep

October 19, 2017
If you're a young person who can't seem to get enough sleep, you're not alone: A new study led by San Diego State University Professor of Psychology Jean Twenge finds that adolescents today are sleeping fewer hours per night ...

Across Asia, liver cancer is linked to herbal remedies: study

October 18, 2017
Researchers have uncovered widespread evidence of a link between traditional Chinese herbal remedies and liver cancer across Asia, a study said Wednesday.

Eating better throughout adult years improves physical fitness in old age, suggests study

October 18, 2017
People who have a healthier diet throughout their adult lives are more likely to be stronger and fitter in older age than those who don't, according to a new study led by the University of Southampton.

Global calcium consumption appears low, especially in Asia

October 18, 2017
Daily calcium intake among adults appears to vary quite widely around the world in distinct regional patterns, according to a new systematic review of research data ahead of World Osteoporosis Day on Friday, Oct. 20.

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

aya
not rated yet Jul 31, 2014
I like cashew nuts in particular. I think that it is good news that consuming delicious nuts has been linked to improved blood sugar level in type 2 diabetes patients.

It seems clear that weight loss could lead to a certain body type. Nonetheless, based on what I have read it appears that losing weight could lead to other benefits too. Effectively, I have read that losing weight may have a positive health effect on: helping with knee pain, reduce bad cholesterol, helping lower blood pressure, helping with the risk of cardiovascular disease, help lowering the risk of kidney stones.

If you too who feels that there is no point in being starved by a diet or enslaved by a workout, check this page out and watch the video it links to: specialfatloss.com

Long term weight loss is what seems to make the difference.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.