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Nutrients 2010, 2(7), 652-682; doi:10.3390/nu2070652

Health Benefits of Nut Consumption

Lipid Clinic, Endocrinology and Nutrition Service, Institutd’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pii Sunyer, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona and Ciber Fisiopatología de la Obesidady Nutrición (CIBERobn), Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), Spain
Received: 14 May 2010 / Revised: 1 June 2010 / Accepted: 17 June 2010 / Published: 24 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vegetarian Nutrition)
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Abstract

Nuts (tree nuts and peanuts) are nutrient dense foods with complex matrices rich in unsaturated fatty and other bioactive compounds: high-quality vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, tocopherols, phytosterols, and phenolic compounds. By virtue of their unique composition, nuts are likely to beneficially impact health outcomes. Epidemiologic studies have associated nut consumption with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease and gallstones in both genders and diabetes in women. Limited evidence also suggests beneficial effects on hypertension, cancer, and inflammation. Interventional studies consistently show that nut intake has a cholesterol-lowering effect, even in the context of healthy diets, and there is emerging evidence of beneficial effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, and vascular reactivity. Blood pressure, visceral adiposity and the metabolic syndrome also appear to be positively influenced by nut consumption. Thus it is clear that nuts have a beneficial impact on many cardiovascular risk factors. Contrary to expectations, epidemiologic studies and clinical trials suggest that regular nut consumption is unlikely to contribute to obesity and may even help in weight loss. Safety concerns are limited to the infrequent occurrence of nut allergy in children. In conclusion, nuts are nutrient rich foods with wide-ranging cardiovascular and metabolic benefits, which can be readily incorporated into healthy diets.
Keywords: tree nuts; peanuts; fatty acids; antioxidants; cholesterol; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; inflammation tree nuts; peanuts; fatty acids; antioxidants; cholesterol; cardiovascular disease; diabetes; inflammation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Ros, E. Health Benefits of Nut Consumption. Nutrients 2010, 2, 652-682.

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