Welcome to another edition of NutENews. It’s been a little while since our
last newsletter – and this one is my first as Nutrition Program Manager at Nuts for Life.
Some of you may already be aware that after an impressive 13 years, Lisa Yates resigned from her position of Program Manager at Nuts for Life.
I was fortunate to have worked with Lisa over the last 18 months in a consultant role to Nuts for Life. It is without doubt that Nuts for Life would not be where it is today without Lisa’s strategic planning and meticulous scientific rigour, resulting in significant wins for the nut industry. From changes in community attitude to nuts, to changes in public health, Lisa should be extremely proud of her achievements and in helping to shape Nuts for Life.
I will certainly miss Lisa’s energy and her passion for nuts, and I wish her all the very best in her future endeavours.
The reigns are now in my hands as I take Nuts for Life into the next generation.
In this edition we highlight a new study, Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study (1), which found that people who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity (read more here).
I’ll also showcase (in a nutshell) some of the most interesting research that has been released of late.
And as we embrace the warmer days of spring, we hope you’ll enjoy this delicious recipe from Australian Almonds which will compliment any barbecue or picnic (view recipe here)
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 bites.
Nut intake and 5-year changes in body weight and obesity risk in adults: results from the EPIC-PANACEA study
A study recently published online and scheduled soon for publication in European Journal of Nutrition has found that people who include nuts in their diet are more likely to reduce weight gain and lower the risk of overweight and obesity.
The five year study evaluated data from more than 373,000 Europeans between the ages of 25 and 70. It found that participants gained a mean average of 2.1 kilograms during the five-year period of the study. However, participants who ate the most nuts not only had less weight gain than their nut-abstaining peers, but also enjoyed a 5 percent lower risk of becoming overweight or obese.
Senior investigator Joan Sabaté, director of the Centre for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Disease Prevention at LLUSPH and junior investigator Heinz Freisling, a nutritional epidemiologist with the Nutritional Methodology and Biostatistics group at IARC headquarters in France, have evaluated nuts in the past and found that they are positively associated with a variety of health benefits, including healthy aging and memory function in seniors. This study, however, represents the first time they have investigated the relationship between nuts and weight on a large scale. Peanuts, (technically a legume), were included in the study along with almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios and walnuts, which are classified as tree nuts.
The team analysed information on the dietary practices and body mass indexes of 373,293 participants, working with data gathered by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) and Nutrition. Although Sabaté and Freisling extracted and analysed the data and reported the findings, they were joined by 35 other research scientists from 12 European countries and Malaysia who reviewed the paper ahead of publication.
People often think of nuts as being an energy-dense, high-fat food and therefore not a good choice for individuals who want to lose weight. The findings of this research very much contradict that assumption.
This research further supports evidence spanning more than two decades which has concluded that compared with non-nut eaters, those who eat nuts tend to have a lower BMI and are less likely to gain weight over time (refer Nuts and the Big Fat Myth). Additionally, in 2015, Nuts for Life commissioned a systematic literature review to assess the impact of nuts on heart health parameters and to determine if weight change affects these results. The researchers found that regular nut consumption contributes to heart health without causing weight gain (2).
So there you have it – more evidence to support that eating nuts does not lead to weight gain. Encourage your friends and family, work colleagues and clients to eat at least a handful of nuts… every day.
- Freisling, H., Noh, H., Slimani, N. et al. Eur J Nutr (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00394-017-1513-0
- Neale E et al. The effect of nut consumption of heart health: a systematic literature review. 2015. Nuts for Life, unpublished.
IN A NUTSHELL
Dry roasting and lightly salting nuts do not appear to negate the cardioprotective effects observed with raw nut consumption. Public health messages could be extended to include dry roasted and lightly salted nuts as part of a heart healthy diet. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26746221
Consuming ≥ 4 servings/week of nuts may reduce the risk of T2DM compared with <1 serving/week, based on results of The Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27865656
Despite their nutritional value, population-level nut consumption remains low. Studies suggest that individuals would eat more nuts on their doctor’s advice, making health professionals potentially important for promoting nut consumption: Perceptions and Knowledge of Nuts amongst Health Professionals in New Zealand https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257045
This recipe is brought to you by Australian Almonds – a delicious Almond, Quinoa and Pomegranate salad – the perfect partner for any barbecue or picnic! https://amazingalmonds.com.au/2014/01/30/almond-quinoa-and-pomegranate-salad/
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 tablespoons raw almonds
- 1 can lentils
- ½ cup sultanas
- 1 bunch coriander (roots, leaves and stems), chopped
- ½ bunch parsley (leaves and stems), chopped
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 5 tablespoons mixed pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower kernels and pine nuts OR an equivalent variation e.g. 3 tablespoons pepitas and 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons baby capers
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (best quality)
- Salt (salt flakes, preferably) to taste
- 1 pomegranate, deseeded, to serve
- Bring 2 cups water and 1 cup quinoa to the boil and then simmer for 10-15 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Turn off heat and leave to cool.
- Mix the yoghurt, ground cumin and honey in a small bowl until combined and then refrigerate until needed.
- Toast almonds in a dry (no oil) fry pan for a few minutes and then cool. Bash into small pieces with a mortar and pestle (or cut into small pieces with a large knife) and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, place the quinoa, almonds, coriander, parsley, red onion, lentils, capers, sultanas, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and season with salt flakes to taste.
- Spoon salad into serving dish and dollop over cumin yoghurt. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.