To your health — not such a Nutty idea

People who eat nuts live longer than those who don’t, and the nuttier the better.

Recently the National Institute of Health published a meta-analysis of over 100,000 men and women showing that those who ate nuts lived longer than those that did not. The study also showed that the more days of the week one ate nuts, the more protective the association. To avoid confusion, the publication analyzed the data including both tree nuts (e.g. walnuts, almonds) and peanuts (which are technically not nuts).

Medically, the most reduction in disease occurred in the areas of heart disease and cancer. In women, there was also a reduction in respiratory diseases. In men, there was a strong trend toward reduction in kidney disease. Contrary to expectations, persons who ate nuts gained less weight than those who did not.

Nuts are high in protein, healthy oils, fiber and important micronutrients. Choose nuts without salt, sugar or other coatings – raw or dry roasted nuts are the healthiest choice. Call me nutty, but if I owned Neiman’s, Perch’s or Gordons, I’d stock up on plenty of bulk nuts to improve the health of my community.

Allan Frank, MD, MS

Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine

MSU College of Human Medicine