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A Summary of the
Health Effects of NutsA FACTSHEET FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS

The health benefits of nuts have been established from decades of research.
Evidence consistently shows that regular nut consumption is associated with good health.

Being nutrient powerhouses packed with essential nutrients and bioactive substances, it’s no wonder that nuts are emerging as one of the most relevant foods for optimal health.

 

The table below is a summary of the health effects of nut consumption based on evidence from systematic literature reviews and meta-analyses.


Highest Quality Evidence


Lowest Quality Evidence
Heart health [1, 2]
total cholesterol
LDL cholesterol
LDL: HDL cholesterol ratio
29% reduction in CHD risk
21% reduction in CVD risk
SLR of 117 intervention studies
Meta-analysis of 29 prospective cohorts
Weight and anthropometric measures[3]
body weight (0.22 kg)
BMI (0.16 kg/m2)
waist circumference (0.51 cm)
SLR of 62 RCTs and 3 prospective cohorts
Metabolic syndrome[4]
metabolic syndrome criteria
triglycerides (0.06 mmol/L)
fasting blood glucose (0.008 mmol/L)
From median dose of 50g nuts/day
SLR and meta-analysis of 47 RCTs
Endothelial function[5]
endothelial function
flow-mediated dilation by 0.79%
SLR and meta-analysis of 32 RCTs
Type 2 diabetes management[6]
HbA1c by 0.07%
fasting blood glucose (0.15 mmol/L)
From median dose of 56g nuts/day
SLR and meta-analysis of 12 RCTs
Type 2 diabetes risk[7]
13% reduction in risk per 4 x weekly serves of 28g of nuts (~30g handful) SLR and meta-analysis of 5 cohorts and 1 RCT
All-cause mortality[2]
22% reduction in all-cause mortality per 28g nuts/day SLR and dose response meta-analysis of 15 cohorts
Total cancer[8]
15% reduction in total cancer risk for highest vs. lowest nut intake SLR and meta-analysis of 12 cohorts and 19 case-control studies
Depression[9]
risk of depression with nuts and other
dietary factors
SLR of 11 cohorts and 1 study on Mediterranean diet

SLR = systematic literature review RCTs = randomised controlled trials

For good health,
enjoy a healthy handful
of nuts every day.

References

  • Neale, E., et al., The effect of nut consumption on heart health: an updated systematic review of the literature. 2018. Nuts for Life, unpublished.
  • Aune, D., et al., Nut consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer, all-cause and cause-specific mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. BMC Med, 2016. 14(1): p. 207
  • Li, H., et al., Nut consumption and risk of metabolic syndrome and overweight/obesity: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized trials. Nutr Metab (Lond), 2018. 15: p. 46.
  • Blanco Mejia, S., et al., Effect of tree nuts on metabolic syndrome criteria: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ Open, 2014. 4(7):p.e004660.
  • Neale, E.P., et al., The effect of nut consumption on markers of inflammation and endothelial function: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ Open, 2017. 7(11): p. e01686
  • Viguiliouk, E., et al., Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled dietary trials. PLoS One, 2014. 9(7): p.e103376
  • Afshin, A., et al., Consumption of nuts and legumes and risk of incident ischemic heart disease, stroke, and diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr, 2014. 100(1): p. 278-88.
  • Wu, L., et al., Nut consumption and risk of cancer and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev, 2015. 73(7): p. 409-25.
  • Sanhueza, C., L. Ryan, and D.R. Foxcroft, Diet and the risk of unipolar depression in adults: systematic review of cohort studies. J Hum Nutr Diet, 2013. 26(1): p. 56-70.
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