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Are Nuts the Fountain of Youth?

Add some nuts to your fruit salad for a long life.

Add some nuts to your fruit salad for a long life.

We already mentioned that eating plenty of produce has been correlated with less risk of disease and a lower chance of death, but if you need something crunchy to spread on your salad, consider nuts. Nuts can lower the risk of disease and premature death. This advice comes right from Harvard Medical School, and who are we to argue with that?



The research demonstrated that daily nut eaters were less likely to die from:

  • Heart disease
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Cancer

Yes, peanuts count as nuts for this study! By the way, for purists, peanuts are technically considered legumes, actually a type of bean, but they counted as nuts in the study and also helped. We all thought peanuts were nuts anyway, and that jar that says mixed nuts with 50% peanuts does not say 50% legumes. Typically, peanuts are cheaper than other types of nuts, so that may be encouraging for people who want to live on a budget in a frugal way.

The anti-aging with nuts study: Anyway, the study tracked 120,000 people over 30 years. The more that the people consumed nuts, the less likely they were to die prematurely. This is true even after other lifestyle factors were taken into account. For example, smoking, obesity, and other factors were correlated, and in these groups, nut eaters still did better than non-nut eaters with similar habits.


Will Nuts Make You Fatter?

OK, so Harvard doctors say that nuts will help people live longer, but will they also make these same people fat? The researchers say that the combination of fat, protein, and fiber actually make nuts a very good choice. Of course, a handful or two a day is plenty, and you might choose to incorporate all types of nuts in your salads and stir-fry dishes in order to eat an ounce or two a day.

Some tips to incorporate more nuts and peanuts in your diet:

  • Peanuts are probably cheapest, and even though they are not technically nuts, they still work.
  • Pistachios tend to get expensive, but they are considered one of the lowest calorie choices.
  • The doctors suggest choosing unsalted over salted when you can.
  • Peanut butter and other nut spreads work too, but you should watch added ingredients.
  • Try buying nuts in the shell and cracking them open. This takes more work, so you are less likely to overeat. It’s way too easy to eat several servings of nuts out of a can or bag.

 

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