Eat nuts, lose weight. That's the conclusion reached by a new study published in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS ONE that found tree nuts — almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts — lower the risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Researchers at Loma Linda University who tracked the diets of 803 adults found those who ate at least a handful of nuts each week were far less likely to be overweight or develop metabolic syndrome (MetS) — a cluster of conditions including a large waistline and high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar that increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and death.
"Our results showed that one serving [1 ounce] of tree nuts per week was significantly associated with 7 percent less MetS," said lead researcher Karen Jaceldo-Sieg. "Doubling this consumption could potentially reduce MetS risk by 14 percent."
In addition, the researchers found that high tree nut consumption significantly lowered the prevalence of obesity. The results held true regardless of other demographic, dietary, and lifestyle factors, the results showed.
The study echoes the findings of recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine last month that also found people who include nuts in their diets face lower health risks than those who don't.
"All of this new research supports the growing body of evidence showing that consuming nuts can improve your health," said Maureen Ternus, executive director of the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research & Education Foundation, which sponsored the latest study.
She noted the Food and Drug Administration recommends that people eat 1.5 ounces of nuts per day —"so we need to encourage people to get their handful of nuts every day."
© 2017 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.