Eating nuts reduces two of the five markers of the metabolic syndrome (a group of factors that increase the risk of heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and strokes), confirms the new scientific work.
The metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when the patient has three of the following risk factors for low levels of good cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and a large waist circumference.
Researchers have proved that regular consumption of natural nuts has a significant effect on the decrease in triglycerides and blood sugar levels.
Dr Sievenpiper confirmed that the greatest reduction in triglycerides and glucose in the blood was evident when nuts replaced refined sugars and saturated fats. He also said that eating nuts has no negative impact on other metabolic syndrome risk factors such as weight gain, although the nuts are quite caloric. Nuts are also high in fat, but they are unsaturated fats.
Proven health benefits associated with the reduction of metabolic syndrome factors refer to almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, Italian and pistachios. They do not include peanuts.
In randomized controlled trials, patients ate about 50 grams of nuts a day.
Fifty grams of nuts can be easily incorporated into the diet as a snack or as a substitute for animal fats and refined carbohydrates, said Dr Sievenpiper.
The US Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that regular eating of nuts reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Nuts are also recommended in the Mediterranean diet, DASH (diet for lowering blood pressure), diet to prevent cardiovascular diseases and reduce “bad cholesterol“.