“Nuts: Can They Lengthen Your Life ?”
We are seldom told of the many advantages of eating a wide variety of nuts. But, they have even produced a pun amongst epidemiologists: “good health costs peanuts.” However, peanuts are not really nuts. They’re legumes (like beans and peas), but they are nutritionally similar to true tree nuts and are counted as nuts in epidemiological studies as well as by most ordinary people. Actually, three large cohort prospective studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that a diet high in nuts is linked to lower mortality (associated with death rates cut by as much as a fifth). Consistent across all three separate studies, nut intake was linked to a lower risk of total mortality (death from any cause), and death from CVD [cardiovascular disease]. Previous studies, say the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine authors, have found benefit from eating peanuts, but with the limitation that the people studied represented higher income groups – and the nuts were more expensive, too. The key findings were: 1) in the US cohort of people, there was a 21% lower risk of death from any cause for individuals who ate the most peanuts, 2) in the Chinese groups, high nut intake gave a 17% lower risk of death overall and 3) for all the ethnic groups, there was a link to a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease (coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack and heart failure).