The International Nut and Dried Fruit Council would like to highlight the importance of adding nuts to a healthy and balanced diet on a daily basis, controlling our weight and maintaining a good health.
In 2010, it was estimated that 3-4 million adult deaths worldwide were attributable to obesity and overweight. Since obesity is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, researchers have been studying to determine if nut consumption decreases the risk of obesity and Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of multiple metabolic risk factors shown to be associated with cardiovascular diseases.
In 1998, a continuing survey of food intake by individuals conducted by the US Department of Agriculture compared body mass index from nut eaters and non-nut eaters. This survey showed that young and adult eaters had a lower body mass index. Also, a study conducted in Loma Linda University concluded that there is a substantial and similar reduction in cardiovascular disease risk for individuals consuming nuts more than 5 times a week. Specifically, this study showed that people who had consumed nuts 4-5 times a week compared with the ones who did it 1 or less times per week had a 30-50 percent reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
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Moreover, nut consumption has been associated with a lower incidence of Metabolic Syndrome, a cluster of multiple metabolic risk factors, shown to be associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In fact, the “Seguimiento Universidad de Navarra” cohort concluded that two or more servings of nuts per week (tree nuts and peanuts) were associated with lower incidence of Metabolic Syndrome. Furthermore, in the PREDIMED trial a reversal of this syndrome was observed with Mediterranean diet enhanced with mixed tree nuts. Also, in 2014, a study of the Loma Linda California concluded that one serving of tree nuts (28g) per week was significantly associated with 7 percent less Metabolic Syndrome.
Furthermore, the PREDIMED study, a randomized trial with subjects at high cardiovascular risk, provided evidence that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with mixed tree nuts was associated with a 18 percent relative risk reduction of diabetes and a relative risk reduction of 30 percent of major cardiovascular events.
One study suggests that selenium intake may reduce the risk of bladder cancer in women. However, one smaller study showed no reduction in risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly uncertain that selenium supplements reduce the risk of bladder cancer in women.