"As compared with participants who did not eat nuts, those who consumed nuts seven or more times per week had a 20% lower death rate."
"In addition, [the] nutrients [contained] in nuts, such as unsaturated fatty acids, high-quality protein, fiber, vitamins (e.g., folate, niacin, and vitamin E), minerals (e.g., potassium, calcium, and magnesium), and phytochemicals (e.g., carotenoids, flavonoids, and phytosterols); may confer cardioprotective, anticarcinogenic, antiinflammatory, and antioxidant properties."
Previous research studies have found similar results. This study is different because it was much bigger and used American test subjects. A large healthy population of test subjects was observed between 30 and 26 years.
The good-news comes from one of those armchair research studies that took another look at the raw data that was generated from two other long term studies (i.e., Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study). An epidemiological study, however, can only establish associations, rather than prove causality.
The study has been criticized for excluding unhealthy test subjects. On the other hand, there have been plenty of other studies that attempted to determine if vitamin supplements could work miracles on test subjects dying from heart disease. If it was my choice, I would rather study healthy populations than sick people that are expected to die within a few years.
Eating Nuts Helps People Live Longer
What has not been widely reported is that this study included obese test subjects. A healthy population of test subjects were selected based upon a physical examination where available, and those with case histories of smoking, cancer, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, high cholesterol, as well as extreme BMIs (<18.5 or >40) in both directions of ether being too skinny or extreme obesity were excluded. Interesting enough, people with normal obesity or being extremely overweight (with a BMI greater or equal to 30, but less than 40) were in fact included as healthy test subjects.
On the down side, "nut intake was self-reported." Furthermore, the study had no "data on how nuts were prepared (e.g., salted, spiced, roasted, or raw)."
Both true nuts and peanuts were studied. Peanuts are a weird plant that flowers above ground, but produces its fruit below ground in what looks like a root structure. While not a true nut, they are still seeds. The study referred to true nuts as "tree nuts."
Nevertheless, even with nut consumption there were still some deaths recorded for cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, neurodegenerative disease, infections, kidney disease, diabetes, among other causes of death.
The results of this recently published research study should encourage everyone to incorporate nuts into their diets. Of course, those allergic to nuts should not eat nuts, under any circumstances. Nobody should eat anything that disagrees with him or her.