People often assume that in order to lead healthier lifestyles, they need to quit snacking. But according to a new study, snacking could actually reduce your risk of a number of diseases and of premature death. You just have to snack on the right thing.
In fact, according to the analysis of 29 studies involving over 800 thousand participants, there's a snack that can cut your risk of coronary heart disease by almost 30%, your risk of developing cancer by 15%, and your risk of premature death by 22%. You'll cut your chances of death due to respiratory disease in half and your risk of diabetes by 40% as well.
So what is this miraculous snack? It's nuts! The researchers found that an average of 20 g of nuts — about a handful — could deliver all of these benefits. The studies they reviewed included a variety of nuts, including hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans, and found that the benefits were fairly consistent regardless of what kind of nut people consumed. Eating a mixture was beneficial as well.
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Though nuts are high in fat, they contain a good deal of fiber, magnesium, protein, and antioxidants as well, making them a well-balanced choice for munching on. However, this is a situation in which more isn't necessarily better. The benefits seem to peak at about 20 g per day. Eat more than that and you'll be loading up on calories, but not doing your health much more good.
Clearly, nuts are a great snack option. Or, if you don't like to snack, just add them on as an appetizer to one of your meals. They're great on salads. You can choose any kind you like. And if you don't like nuts, another great snack is the Bhu Fit Fiber Bars, sold by Advanced Bionutritionals. They have similar nutritional content to nuts, and they taste great.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD