Beating obesity with a daily dose of nuts


Tuesday 9th December, 2008

If you’re trying to overcome a combination of problems such as obesity, high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure then adding nuts to your diet may help, according to a Spanish study.

The term ‘metabolic syndrome’ is given to these combined health issues and a quarter of the UK population are thought to have it. This latest study from Spain found that by adding nuts to a Mediterranean diet of vegetables, fruit and moderate amounts of fish, the health of more than one in eight people at risk of the condition was increased.

Over one thousand people with metabolic syndrome were tested to see if nuts could give an already healthy diet a further boost.

The volunteers were placed into three groups. One were only given low-fat eating dietary advice, the second had a diet that included plenty of veg, fruit and cereal while reducing intake of red meat and dairy. The group were also given one litre of olive oil per week as a supplement and quarterly advice on Mediterranean diet. The third group had the same diet and teaching but with an added 30g of mixed nuts to eat every day.

After one year, the participants were reassessed. In the first group of people who were only given low-fat dietary advice just 2% had improved their condition to no longer be classed as suffering with metabolic syndrome.

In the second group of Mediterranean diet and olive oil volunteers, 6.7% had improved. The third group that added nuts to their diet had a 13.7% improvement. Waist levels in the nut eating group had also reduced and both cholesterol and blood pressure had dropped.

Researchers concluded that nuts may have helped to reduce chronic inflammation that was linked to the weight problem.

Experts have been quick to point out that people shouldn’t just begin to consume large quantities of nuts, especially peanuts which aren’t classed as a nut and contain high levels of salt.

This isn’t the first time a Mediterranean diet has been linked to improved health and the addition of a small quantity of nuts may provide a perfectly balanced diet.

If you’re trying to beat obesity, a visit to a trained nutritionist will provide you with the perfect dietary advice.

Learn more about nutrition here

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