Nuts about Nuts!

Nuts about Nuts!

Author -  Emily Hope

It’s time for you to say goodbye to the low-fat craze and reap the benefits of healthy fats found in nuts. Read on to find out why...

What's not to love about nuts?

It’s recommended that you eat a handful of nuts (30g) each day to reap their health benefits, yet most people most don’t. Why? The high-fat content of nuts has been given a hard time and people tend to think they’ll make you gain weight. However, a large number of clinical trials have proven this to be untrue.

In fact, a large European study has just found that a Mediterranean diet* enriched with 30g of mixed nuts each day has a number of health benefits. These include:

  • Reduced blood glucose levels and blood pressure1
  • Reduced risk of diabetes2
  • Reduced risk of metabolic syndrome3
  • Reduced BMI (Body Mass Index) and waist circumference4
  • Improved brain health5,6

*A Mediterranean diet typically consists of plenty of fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, fish, seafood, olive oil for cooking and dressings, small amounts of meat and dairy, and moderate amount of alcohol, mainly red wine.

A handful of nuts each day will benefit everyone, not just those consuming a Mediterranean style-diet.  The key point is to include a handful of nuts rather than an entire bag! Choose unsalted nuts to keep sodium intake down.

There are a number of ways you can add a handful of nuts to your daily diet:

  • Enjoy a handful of nuts as a satisfying snack
  • Add nuts to baking
  • Top salads with nuts to add crunch and taste
  • Add cashew nuts to stir-fries
  • Add toasted pine nuts to roasted root vegetables for extra flavour

  1. Estruch R, et al. Effects of a Mediterranean-style diet on cardiovascular risk factors: a randomised trial. Ann Intern Med. 2006;145(1):1-11.
  2. Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with the Mediterranean diet:results of the PREDIMED-REus nutrition intervention randomised trial. Diabetes Care. 2011;34(1):14-9.
  3. Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Effect of a Mediterranean diet supplemented with nuts on metabolic syndrome status: one-year results of the PREDMED randomised trial. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(22):2449-58
  4. Casas-Agustench P, et al. Cross-sectional association of nut intake with adiposity in a Mediterranean population. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;21(7):518-25.
  5. Valls-Pedret C, et al. Polyphenol-rich foods in the Mediterranean diet are associated with better cognitive function in lederly subjects at high cardiovascular risk. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;29(4):773-82.
  6. Sánchez-Villegas A, et al. The effect of the Mediterranean diet on plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels: the PREDIMED-NAVARRA randomised trial. Nutr Neurosci. 2011;14(5):195-201.