Nuts have an undeservedly bad reputation as a fatty food. But tons of studies have shown that nuts are not only not fattening, but lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Studies have also shown that nuts are good for diabetes. 

Now, new research shows that nuts are important for long life because they protect against death from many diseases . . . .

In 2013, a massive study that analyzed 118,962 people found that people who ate the most nuts were 20% less likey to die from any cause during the study. They were also significantly less likely to die specifically from heart disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer or respiratory disease. Contrary to common misconception, eating nuts in this study was, once again, associated with losing weight, not gaining it (NEJM 2013;369:2001-11).

A new study has just, not only confirmed these results, but added some important new information.

This study followed 120,852 people between the ages of 55 and 69 for ten years. Like the earlier study, it found that eating nuts was associated with a lower risk of death from any cause during the study. But this study added three important new pieces of information.

1. The protective effect is true not just for tree nuts but for the even more maligned peanut as well.

2. Nuts protect against death from even more causes than previously thought. This study also found that eating nuts and peanuts protects you from death from cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease, but it also found that it prevents death from diabetes, neurodegenerative disease and other diseases as well.

3. Nuts are powerful: you don't have to eat a lot to get the benefits. People who ate just 10 grams of nuts a day (that's just about half a handful) or more had a 23% lower risk of dying from any disease.

Though this protective benefit was found for all kinds of nuts and peanuts, it was not found for peanut butter. It would be intereting to see research on different kinds of peanut butter, though, as many commercial brands contain sugar, salt and hydrogentated fats that could have effected the result.

Int J Epidemiol 2015;doi:10.1093/ije/dyv039

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