Are there any peanut lovers here? We have some great news for you all: A new study shows that people who daily eat nuts have a lower risk of dying from several major illnesses.

In the study, people who ate at least 10 grams of peanuts or other nuts daily were 23 percent less likely to die over a 10-year period than people who didn't eat nuts. The biggest reductions in deaths among the nut-lovers were for deaths from respiratory diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and diabetes, followed by cancer and cardiovascular diseases, the researchers said.

For the study, the researchers used data on about 120,000 middle-age Dutch men and women who participated in the Netherlands Cohort Study, which began in 1986. Within 10 years, about 18,000 of the participants had died. The researchers looked at the questionnaires that the participants had completed at the study's start, as well as the individuals' risk of dying during the study.

It is not exactly clear why there may be a longevity benefit to eating peanuts. It is believed is because peanuts and tree nuts both contain various compounds such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, various vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds, that possibly contribute to the lower death rates.

But bad news for peanut butter lovers: In contrast to peanuts, no association was found between peanut butter intake and mortality risk. This is because peanut butter contains also added components like salt and vegetable oils. In the past, it has been shown that peanut butter contains trans fatty acids and therefore the composition of peanut butter is different from peanuts. The adverse health effects of salt and trans fatty acids could inhibit the protective effects of peanuts.

References:

  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150610190920.htm
  • http://www.livescience.com/51192-nuts-peanuts-protect-against-death.html
  • http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/handful-nuts-day-cut-risk-death-study-article-1.2254811
  • http://www.foodandwine.com/fwx/food/want-live-longer-eat-peanuts-not-peanut-butter
  • Image adapted from: http://foodnetwork.sndimg.com/content/dam/images/food/fullset/2007/10/15/0/EA1112_Roasted_Peanuts.jpg

 

 

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