Study: Grab a handful of nuts a day, they're good for you

A 30-year Harvard study involving 119,000 people is the broadest scientific evidence of the health benefits of nuts such as pistachios.
A 30-year Harvard study involving 119,000 people is the broadest scientific evidence of the health benefits of nuts such as pistachios.
Photo by AP
| Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013, 9:09 p.m.

DALLAS — Help yourself to some nuts this holiday season: Regular nut eaters were less likely to die of cancer or heart disease — in fact, were less likely to die of any cause — during a 30-year Harvard study.

Nuts have long been called heart-healthy, and the study is the largest ever done on whether eating them affects mortality.

Researchers tracked 119,000 men and women and found that those who ate nuts roughly every day were 20 percent less likely to die during the study period than those who never ate nuts.

The risk of dying of heart disease dropped 29 percent and the risk of dying of cancer fell 11 percent among those who had nuts seven or more times a week compared with people who never ate them.

The benefits were seen from peanuts as well as from pistachios, almonds, walnuts and other tree nuts. The researchers did not look at how the nuts were prepared — oiled or salted, raw or roasted.

A bonus: Nut eaters stayed slimmer.

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