Nuts help fight fat: research
Nuts consumption may help prevent metabolic syndrome (Mets) and overweight/obesity, according to researchers from China.
Research has found that nut consumption can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease; however, its association with Mets and overweight/obesity was not clear.
Researchers from Wuhan University conducted a meta-analysis including six prospective cohort studies with 420,890 subjects and 62 randomised feeding trials with 7184 participants. They used food-frequency questionnaires to assess participants’ nut intake, and the most commonly adjusted factors were age, sex, smoking, alcohol intake, physical activity and total calories intake. The follow-up period was between 3 and 336 weeks.
The meta-analysis found that every one serving per week increase in nut consumption reduced the risk of Mets by 4%, overweight/obesity by 3% and obesity alone by 5%. Pooling of randomised trials suggested nut consumption could also reduce body weight, body mass index and waist circumference.
The researchers explained the benefits of nuts could be partially because participants who consumed more nuts tended to eat less red and processed meat, which is linked to metabolic abnormalities.
Nuts are also high in healthy fats, dietary fibre, phytosterols, vitamins and minerals, which may “improve inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and endothelial function, thus contributing to the improvements in individual Mets component,” the study paper said.
The researchers highlighted the need for additional studies on the metabolic benefits of specific nuts. For example, previous research from Loma Linda University found that one serving of tree nuts per week was associated with 7% less Mets.
This research was published in Nutrition and Metabolism.
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