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NutENews November 2016


You may have heard the Baker IDI Institute released a new report yesterday on heart health Change of Heart – time to end cardiovascular complacency.

I thought you may find the following interesting with regard to nuts and heart health.

They are concerned by the fact that rates of cardiovascular disease have stabilised over the last five years when the previous 50 years saw a regular decline. The authors question have we become complacent and taken our eye off the ball. So many Australians have untreated high cholesterol, blood pressure and blood glucose and rates of diabetes and obesity continue to rise.

It comes as no surprise to us we, as you might expect, think this is in part due to a lack of eating nuts.

The cost of burden of disease in Australia specifically for heart disease accounts for 19% of the total burden.

Of interest to us is an Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report from June 2016 which found that a “diet low in nuts and seeds” accounts for 1.4% of the total cost of disease burden in Australia – the same as “a diet low in vegetables”.

Specifically a lack of nuts and seeds accounted for 16% of the burden of heart disease. Whereas for a lack of vegetables it is just 10% for heart disease.
https://www.aihw.gov.au/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=60129555476

We recommend a daily 30g serve of nuts to reduce heart disease risk based on research. However the latest meta analysis has found to lower cholesterol we need on average 60g of nuts a day.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26561616
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20458092

Last year Nuts for Life commissioned a systematic literature review to determine the impact of nuts on heart health and weight. A summary of this report can be downloaded from https://www.nutsforlife.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Nuts_for_life_Heart_Report_2015.compressed.pdf

The conclusion: A daily 30g handful of nuts as part of a healthy diet contributes to heart health without weight gain.

There are many ways nuts help with heart health specifically lowering total and LDL cholesterol and for weight management by controlling appetite, managing blood glucose and insulin, increasing metabolic rate and increasing fat excretion.

At Nuts for Life we see the 30gram daily healthy handful as a minimum not a maximum serve.
When the ABS Australian Health survey data found Australians eat, on average, just 6g of nuts a day we are long way from the 30g serve let alone a 60g serve.

Nuts deserve the halo effect of fruits and vegetables and nut consumption should be encouraged just like fruits and vegetables for heart health and weight management.

Encourage your friends and family, work colleagues and clients to eat at least a handful of nuts every day to reduce their risk of heart disease and manage weight.

Warm regards
Lisa Yates
Program Manager and Dietitian
Nuts for Life

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