A first-of-its-kind report has found greater nut consumption could deliver major health care cost savings, particularly for one of Australia’s deadliest conditions – cardiovascular disease.

In just one year, at least $980 million could be saved in health care expenditure, if every Australian were to eat a 30g handful of nuts daily (1).

As part of this figure, a huge $281 million are potential savings gleaned from the reduction in the health care costs associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) – one of the leading causes of death in Australia, claiming a life every 12 minutes and costing the economy $11.8 billion in 2018-19 (2).

Aside from the economic benefits to the public health purse relating to CVD savings, the report found it extends to other areas, particularly in cancer costs, with potential savings of $699 million.

Nuts for Life - Economic impact of increased nut consumption - Infographic

The economic modelling, conducted by KPMG, considered the diseases with the highest potential to be mitigated or prevented if nut consumption increased, the prevalence and impact of these diseases on population health, and government health care expenditure on them. 

Decades of research highlights the health benefits of adding a handful of nuts into a daily diet.

As well as being associated with improved weight management (3), a 2022 review of the combined findings of more than 145 systematic reviews and meta-analyses (4) found a daily 30g handful of nuts was linked with:

  • 25% reduced risk for coronary heart disease
  • 22% reduced risk of death from CVD
  • 21% reduced risk of CVD
  • 22% reduced risk of dying from all causes
  • 11% reduced risk of dying from cancer.

The bottom line:

The report findings confirm that the benefits of regular nut intake could extend beyond health – alleviating a significant financial burden on public health care expenditure in Australia.

Yet, Australia Health Survey data shows that nut intake is chronically low, with just two per cent of Australians meeting the target of 30g (a handful) of nuts a day. The average intake of just 4.6g falls well short of this.

So, a substantial shift in nut consumption patterns is needed to reduce this gap, and to realise the significant health and economic benefits of a daily 30g handful of nuts.


  1. KPMG, as commissioned by Nuts for Life. The health and economic impact of increased nut consumption in Australia: The evidence base to support elevating daily nut consumption among Australians. July 2023.
  2. AIHW (2021) Disease expenditure in Australia 2018-19. Available online.
  3. Nishi, S.K., et al., Are fatty nuts a weighty concern? A systematic review and meta-analysis and dose–response meta-regression of prospective cohorts and randomized controlled trials. Obesity Reviews, 2021. 22(11): p. e13330.
  4. Balakrishna, R., et al., Consumption of nuts and seeds and health outcomes including cardiovascular, diabetes and metabolic disease, cancer, and mortality: An umbrella review. Adv Nutr, 2022. 13(6): p. 2136-48.

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