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NutENews June 2018

Hello NutENews readers,

The end of the financial year is nearly upon us. So, in the spirit of talking numbers, we’ve got a ‘Nuts by Numbers’ feature article.

We recently ran a Nuts and Brain Health webcast – we summarise the findings, provide the link to the live recording and links to our new brain health resources which were developed to support this.

Have a client, family member or a friend with a nut allergy who has been advised to continue to consume nuts they are not allergic to? We have updated information on where to purchase nuts in shell.

Coming up in September – Nuts #30days30ways


Walnuts and gut microbiome – the gastrointestinal microbiota may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial health effects of walnut consumption

Almonds and cardiovascular health – a review

Factors associated with body mass index in children and adolescents – frequent nut consumption linked to lower BMI

The economic burden of not meeting food recommendations in Canada: the cost of doing nothing – Nuts and seeds and whole grains were the top cost contributors rather than vegetables and fruit.

RECIPE: And finally, to warm you up, a recipe via Chestnut Australia “Hearty Chicken with chestnuts and mushrooms – a perfect winter warmer recipe.

Don’t forget, for everything you want to know about nuts, or for images and other resources, please visit our website. You can also follow us on social media where we share recipes, tips and research updates.

Happy reading!!


What Australians consume
According to the Australian Health Survey (2011-13), as well as consumption data based on sales of tree nuts, Australians are consuming an average of 6g tree nuts per person per day. And whilst this is a 60% increase in consumption since the 1995 National Nutrition Survey, it falls significantly short of the recommended amount.

What we should consume?
The Australian Dietary Guidelines define a serving of nuts at 30g and encourage regular consumption as part of the protein food group.
A 30g amount equates to roughly a handful of nuts.

How many nuts make up a handful?
Here’s a rough guide to how many nuts make up a 30g serve, or a healthy handful:

  • 20 almonds
  • 10 brazil nuts
  • 15 cashews
  • 4 chestnuts
  • 20 hazelnuts
  • 15 macadamias
  • 15 pecans
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 30 pistachio kernels
  • 10 walnuts halves

Health by Numbers
Heart disease

  • Regularly consuming a handful (30g) of nuts can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30-50%
  • Around 2 handfuls (~60g) of nuts a day reduces total cholesterol by 5% and LDL cholesterol by 7%.


  • Regularly consuming a handful (30g) of nuts may lower the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by around 25%


  • Consuming up to 120g nuts/day in an energy-controlled diet results in slight reductions in weight, BMI and waist circumference.
  • Up to 20% of the fat in nuts is not absorbed and is lost via the faeces
  • Metabolism increases by up to 10% following nut consumption

Health Stars
All unsalted nuts score between 4 and 5 stars

A 30g handful of mixed nuts provides around:

  • 25% of the RDI for vitamin E
  • Nearly 20% of the RDI for magnesium
  • Nearly 10% of the RDI for iron and zinc
  • 7% of the RDI for folate
  • Plus, protein, fibre, plant sterols and omega-3s.

The numbers really do stack up as to why you should aim for at least 30g every day. So, don’t be one of the 95% of Australians who don’t eat a handful of nuts a day.


Here’s the link to the recording of you missed it

We also produced two new resources to support the event:
Fact Sheet


Here’s some key take-outs from the webinar:

  • Nuts improve blood flow, reduce cell damage and inflammation
  • Regularly eating nuts can improve cognition, improve learning and boost learning and memory skills
  • Daily nut consumption may lower the risk of depression, via the production of the feel-good hormone, serotonin
  • Nuts may be important in reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease
  • Regularly eating nuts strengthens EEG brainwave frequencies associated with cognition, healing, learning and memory
  • Nuts are packed with nutrients important for brain health, including Vitamin E, B-group vitamins, polyunsaturated fats, minerals and other phytonutrients.


Immunologists and allergy specialists often recommend that some people with allergens to one nut or certain nuts, continue to eat the nuts that they are not allergic to, as there is some evidence to suggest that this may be helpful.

For those who can safely eat certain types of nuts, it’s important to ensure that there is no cross contact with other nuts. If cross contact can be completely avoided, such as where nuts are in their shell, or where the grower can guarantee the nut has not come into contact with any other nut, they are deemed safe to consume.

We’ve recently updated our list on where to purchase nuts-in-shell


The Nuts30days30ways campaign is back – the campaign will be an image-based campaign, delivered primarily via our Instagram platform throughout the month of September.

Watch this space and our social media channels for further information.


Walnut consumption alters the gastrointestinal microbiota, microbially derived secondary bile acids and health markers in healthy adults: A randomised controlled trial.

The study aimed to assess the impact of walnut consumption on the human gastrointestinal microbiota and metabolic markers of health.

Walnut consumption affected the composition and function of the human gastrointestinal microbiota. These results suggest that the gastrointestinal microbiota may contribute to the underlying mechanisms of the beneficial health effects of walnut consumption.

Almonds and cardiovascular health: a review

Several preventive strategies to reduce dyslipidemia have been suggested, of which dietary modification features as an important one. This review critically examines the available evidence assessing the effect of almonds on dyslipidemia in the South Asian (particularly Indian) context.

Factors associated with body mass index in children and adolescents: an international cross-sectional study

The aim was to investigate the association between postulated risk factors and body mass index (BMI) in children and adolescents.

Although several early life exposures were associated with small differences in BMI, most effect sizes were small. Larger effect sizes were seen with current maternal smoking, television viewing (both with higher BMI) and frequent nut consumption (lower BMI) in both children and adolescents.

The economic burden of not meeting food recommendations in Canada: the cost of doing nothing

In this study, the authors estimated the economic burden of chronic disease attributable to not meeting Canadian food recommendations. Nuts and seeds and whole grains were the top cost contributors rather than vegetables and fruit. Interventions to reduce the health and economic burden of unhealthy eating in Canada may be more effective if they are broad in focus and include promotion of nuts and seeds and whole grains along with vegetables and fruit rather than have a narrow focus such as primarily on vegetables and fruit.

Courtesy of Chestnuts Australia

  • 250g fresh chestnuts (or 200g frozen peeled)
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 3cm-long piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled, halved and cut into ¼ cm wedges
  • 8 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
  • 8 chicken drumsticks, bone in, skin on
  • 5 tbls dark soy sauce
  • 125ml dry sherry
  • 1 tbls caster sugar
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1 whole star anise
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • 250ml water

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